Washington: India received $69 billion remittance in 2012, the highest in the world, followed by China with $60 billion and the Philippines $24 billion, World Bank data showed. Other major recipients of foreign remittances were Mexico with $23 billion and Nigeria and Egypt with $21 billion each, according to the latest edition of the World Bank's Migration and Development Brief released here on Friday.
"India remains the largest recipient country in the world, receiving $69 billion in 2012. In addition to large numbers of unskilled migrants working mainly in the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, India also has a large skilled diaspora the US and other high-income countries," the World Bank report said.
Flows to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal have also been robust, helped by strong economic growth in the GCC and India. Remittances to the region are projected to remain buoyant in the coming years, reaching $140 billion in 2015. Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries increased by 5.3 per cent to $401 billion in 2012.
"Given that many migrants send money and goods through people or informal channels, the true size of remittances are much larger than these official figures," the World Bank said.
According to the report, remittances to developing countries are expected to grow by an annual average of 8.8 per cent for the next three years and are forecast to reach $515 billion in 2015.
As a percentage of GDP, the top recipients of remittances in 2011 were Tajikistan (47 per cent), Liberia (31 per cent), Kyrgyz Republic (29 per cent), Lesotho (27 per cent), Moldova (23 per cent), Nepal (22 per cent), and Samoa (21 per ent).
"The role of remittances in helping lift people out of poverty has always been known, but there is also abundant evidence that migration and remittances are helping countries achieve progress towards other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as access to education, safe water, sanitation and healthcare," Hans Timmer, director of the Bank's development prospects group, said in the report.
Officially recorded remittance flows to South Asia are estimated to have increased sharply by 12.8 per cent to $109 billion in 2012. This follows growth averaging 13.8 per cent in each of the previous two years.
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