New Delhi: Remittance inflows into India is expected to increase to $70 billion in 2012, according to a World Bank report on global migration and remittances released on Wednesday.
India continued to top the remittances list in 2012 while China is placed a close second with $66 billion expected migrant remittances in the same year.
The World Bank said remittance flows to the developing world are expected to exceed earlier estimates and total $406 billion this year—an increase of 6.5% from the previous year—and is projected to grow by 7.9% in 2013, 10.1% in 2014 and 10.7% in 2015 to reach $534 billion in 2015.
Despite the overall growth in remittance flows to developing countries, the continuing global economic crisis is dampening remittance flows to some regions, with Europe and Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa especially affected, while South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to fare much better than previously estimated.
“Although migrant workers are, to a large extent, adversely affected by the slow growth in the global economy, remittance volumes have remained remarkably resilient, providing a vital lifeline to not only poor families but a steady and reliable source of foreign currency in many poor remittances recipient countries,” Hans Timmer, director of the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group, said in a statement.
The bank said South Asia, MENA and East Asia and Pacific regions, with a large numbers of workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, are seeing better-than-expected growth in remittances. For South Asia, remittances in 2012 are expected to total $109 billion, an increase of 12.5% over 2011; East Asia and Pacific region is estimated to attract $114 billion, an increase of 7.2% over 2011, while MENA is expected to receive $47 billion—an increase of 8.4% over the previous year.
“Migrant workers are displaying tremendous resilience in the face of the continuing economic crisis in advanced countries,” said Dilip Ratha, manager of the bank’s migration and remittances unit and lead author of the Migration and Development Brief. “Their agility in finding alternate employment and cutting down on personal expenses has prevented large scale return to their home countries.”
Going forward, the bank expects continued growth in remittance flows to all regions of the world, although persistent unemployment in Europe and hardening attitudes towards migrant workers in some places present serious downside risks.
The report also discusses the implementation of the new remittance regulations in the US and Europe and concludes that these regulations are likely to lower remittance costs in the long run by increasing competition and improving consumer protection.