International migrants from developing countries are expected to send $440 billion in remittances to their home countries in 2015, a World Bank study has said. India continues to be the leading nation in remittances, pulling in $70 billion from its global migrant workforce in 2014, it said.
Remittance flows to developing countries are expected to recover in 2016 to reach $459 billion, rising to $479 billion in 2017, the latest study on remittances released last week said.
Remittances refer to the funds which workers and professionals working in foreign lands send back to their native countries.
Remittances remain a key source of external resource flows for developing countries, far exceeding official development assistance (ODA) and more stable than private debt and portfolio equity flows.
For example, in India, remittances during 2014 were $70 billion, more than the $65 billion earned from the country’s flagship software services exports, the report said. In Nepal, remittances are nearly double the country’s revenues from exports of goods and services, while in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, they are over 50 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.
“Total remittances in 2014 reached $583 billion. This is more than double the ODA in the world. India received $70 billion, China $64 billion, and the Philippines $28 billion. With new thinking, these mega flows can be leveraged to finance development and infrastructure projects,” Kaushik Basu, World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, said.
The top five remittance recipient countries, in terms of value of remittances, continue to be India, China, Philippines, Mexico and Nigeria, the report said.