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India to top global remittances with $71 billion this year: World Bank

India will retain its top spot with $ 71 billion in remittances this year as remittances to developing countries are expected to reach $ 435 billion, an increase of 5% over 2013, the World Bank has said.

In its latest issue of the Migration and Development Brief, the World Bank said yesterday India, with the world’s largest emigrant stock of 14 million people, will remain in the top spot this year, attracting about $ 71 billion in remittances.

“Remittances to developing countries grew this year by 5%. Remittance inflows provided stable cover for substantial parts of the import bill for such countries as Egypt, Pakistan, Haiti, Honduras, and Nepal,” said Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group.

He said India and China led the chart with ‘projected remittance inflows of $ 71 and $ 64 billion respectively in 2014’.

Other large recipients are China ($ 64 billion), the Philippines ($ 28 billion), Mexico ($ 24 billion), Nigeria ($ 21 billion), Egypt ($ 18 billion), Pakistan ($ 17 billion), Bangladesh ($ 15 billion), Vietnam ($ 11 billion) and Ukraine ($ 9 billion).

The growth rate this year is substantially faster than the 3.4% growth recorded in 2013, driven largely by remittances to Asia and Latin America, it said.

Remittances to developing countries will continue climbing in the medium term, reaching an estimated $ 454 billion in 2015. Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated at $ 582 billion this year, rising to $ 608 billion next year, it said.

The Bank said remittances to the South Asia region are increasing more robustly this year, accelerating from slower growth in 2013. Although flows to India, the region’s largest remittance recipient, will grow modestly by 1.5% in 2014.

The expansion is being led by flows from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, where skilled and unskilled workers are finding renewed job opportunities.

As a result, the growth rate of remittances to the region is expected to more than double this year to 5.5% (from 2.7% in 2013), boosting volumes to $ 117 billion in 2014 and rising further to $ 123 billion in 2015, it said.

“In addition, India and the Philippines benefit from having migrants with the most diverse destination spread, thereby creating buffers against regional shocks. Given the growing importance of this sector, the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief has become an essential tool for global development policy experts,” Basu said.

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