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Despite crisis, remittances to India at record high

Last updated on: November 9, 2010 14:49 IST

Despite crisis, remittances to India at record high

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Notwithstanding the recent global financial crisis, remittance flows to developing countries including India is expected to reach $325 billion by the end of this year and is likely to exceed to $370 billion in two years' time, the World Bank says.

According to the World Bank's latest Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011, remittance flows to developing countries is expected to reach $325 billion by the end of this year, up from $307 billion in 2009.

Worldwide, remittance flows are expected to reach $440 billion by the end of this year.

"Remittances in 2008 and 2009 became even more of a lifeline to poor countries, given the massive decline in private capital flows sparked by the crisis," Dilip Ratha, manager of the migration and remittance unit at the World Bank said.

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Image: Tourists stand in front of the historic Taj Mahal in Agra.
Photographs: Jayanta Dey/Reuters
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Remittance flows to developing countries is expected to cross $370 billion, but this outlook is subject to the risks of a fragile global economic recovery, volatile currency and commodity price movements, and rising anti-immigration sentiment in many destination countries, the report added.

Ratha further added, "high unemployment is prompting many migrant-receiving countries to tighten immigration quotas, which would probably slow the growth of remittance flows. Also uncertain currency movements can have unpredictable effects on remittance flows."

In addition to crisis-related risks, regulations to combat financial crime have become a roadblock to the adoption of new mobile money transfer technologies for cross-border remittances.

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"There is urgent need to reassess regulations for remittances through mobile phones and mitigate the operational risks," Ratha said.

As per the report, India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and France have been top recipient countries in 2010 so far.

According to the Factbook 2011, the top migrant destination country is the United States, followed by Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.

The top immigration countries relative to population are Qatar (87 per cent), Monaco (72 per cent), the United Arab Emirates (70 per cent), Kuwait (69 per cent) and Andorra (64 per cent).

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Image: A foreign worker stands in front of Western Union, a money transfer agency in Dora, east of Beirut.
Photographs: Sara Fayad/Reuters
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"The report further added that MexicoUnited States is expected to be the largest migration corridor in the world this year, followed by RussiaUkraine, UkraineRussia, and BangladeshIndia.

Some developing regions in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, West Asia and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed larger-than-expected falls in remittances in 2009, while flows to South Asia in 2009 grew more than expected.

Those to East Asia and Pacific rose modestly.



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