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India leads global remittances with $70 billion in 2013

April 12, 2014 08:32 IST

India leads global remittances in the year 2013 with a whopping $70 billion in its kitty, of which $65 billion were earned from the country's flagship software services exports, the World Bank reported.

India's neighbour China follows second with $60 billion, said the World Bank report, according to which international migrants from developing countries are expected to send $436 billion in remittances to their home countries this year, despite more deportations from some host countries.

In its latest issue of the Migration and Development Brief, the World Bank said this year's remittance flows to developing countries will be an increase of 7.8 per cent over the 2013 volume of $404 billion, rising to $516 billion in 2016.

Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated at $581 billion this year, from $542 billion in 2013, rising to $681 billion in 2016, the report said.

"Remittances have become a major component of the balance of payments of nations. India led the chart of remittance flows, receiving $70 billion last year, followed by China with $60 billion and the Philippines with $25 billion," said Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.

"There is no doubt that these flows act as an antidote to poverty and promote prosperity. Remittances and migration data are also barometers of global peace and turmoil and this is what makes World Bank's KNOMAD initiative to organise, analyse, and make available these data so important," he said.

The depreciation of the Indian rupee during 2013 appears to have attracted inflows through a surge in the deposits of non-resident Indians rather than remittances, the World Bank said.

The bank said growth in remittances to the South Asia region has slowed, rising by a modest 2.3 per cent to $111 billion in 2013, compared with an average annual increase of more than 13 per cent during the previous three years.

The slowdown was driven by a marginal increase in India of 1.7 per cent in 2013, and a decline in Bangladesh of 2.4 per cent, the bank said. 

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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