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India tops in worldwide remittances

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  • India tops in worldwide remittances

    Saturday, October 20, 2007 (United Nations):

    A new UN report has revealed that India in 2006 topped in remittances in the world by narrowly edging out Mexico; accounting for 8.2 percent of total global remittances and over one-fifth of the money being sent to Asia by migrant community.

    The report released by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, said that India with $24.5 billion (2.7 per cent of its GDP), topped the list of countries in receiving remittances, followed very closely by Mexico ($24.2 billion) and China ($21 million).

    The other two countries in top five recipients of remittances are Philippines ($14.6 billion) and Russia ($13.7 billion).

    In all migrants working in industrialized countries sent home more than $300 billion to their families in the year 2006, said the report co-authored by the Inter-American Development Bank. This is three-times the financial aid from developed countries to the third world countries.

    Though the report did not went into much detail about the remittances received by India, it did say that the emerging destination countries from India - the region's main exporter of migrants, with 22 percent of total migrant - include Malaysia and the Arab oil exporting countries.

    Asia in all receives $114 billion in remittances, the highest in the world. Transfers make up to 23 per cent of regional per capita income.

    Noting that migrants and their dependents in many Asian countries do not have access to basic financial services, the report said in Kerala only 11 per cent of the residents have bank accounts. Kerala is normally considered to be receiving the largest amount of money from the Gulf.

    Observing that information technology was playing a major part in transfer of money from the industrialized countries to these nations, the report said in countries like India and Philippines mobile technology is being used as a widely accepted means for money transfer operations and is growing exponentially.

    "These new opportunities have radically changes the remittance market by increasing the spectrum of participating players," it said.

    The India-specific figures released by the UN study is similar to the one revealed by the Reserve Bank of India and World Bank early this, which said that India received $24.6 billion (in 2005-06) and $23.5 billion (in 2005) respectively.

    The Reserve Bank of India in its report on remittances early this year had said that North America has replaced Gulf countries as the most important source of remittances. It estimated that 44 per cent of remittances originate in North America, 24 percent in the Gulf region, and 13 per cent in Europe.