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Half of remittances from UAE go to India

Issac John/Dubai
Filed on August 13, 2015 | Last updated on August 13, 2015 at 06.40 am
Half of remittances from UAE go to India

Individual remittances from the UAE to India rose to between $12 billion and $15 billion in 2014.

Nearly half of annual individual overseas money transfers from the UAE are towards India.

In 2014, individual remittances from the UAE to India -- the largest receiver of remittances in the world -- rose to between $12 billion and $15 billion. This figure is not inclusive of export earnings, foreign direct investment and foreign institutional investments, according to Sudhir Kumar Shetty, president of the UAE Exchange. The UAE is the host to 2.65 million Indian migrants.

In the UAE, which is home for over 200 nationalities, mainly eight countries -- India, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Yemen -- together accounted for $26.607 billion of the total remittance of $29.25 billion.

Remittances from Kuwait and Qatar were $12 billion and $9.5 billion respectively, while smaller transfers were made out of Oman and Bahrain, a report said.

Around 25 million expatriates live in the GCC states -- almost equal to the native population.

India received $70.39 billion in remittances from across the world in 2014. That is ahead of China, which got $64.14 billion, and more than all the remittances received by the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan combined. The Philippines ($28 billion) came third, followed by Mexico ($25 billion) and France ($25 billion).

According to the World Bank, in 2014, total global remittances were $583 billion. US led the sending markets with $131 billion transferred out, followed by Saudi Arabia ($45 billion), the UAE ($29.6 billion), the UK ($25 billion) and Germany ($24 billion).

The World Bank estimates that the six GCC countries transferred $102 billion in 2014, mostly to South Asian nations of India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The amount is estimated at 6.2 per cent of the combined gross domestic product, or GDP, of the GCC states at $1.6 trillion.

According to a report by Kuwait Financial Centre, the outbound GCC remittance figure was twice as high as remittances in 2010, reflecting a steady growth.

While Indians in the UAE were top remitters in the world, their counterparts in the US came close with $11.177 billion in money transfers.

In Saudi Arabia, Indians headed the table with around 2.8 million workers sending $10.836 billion, while Egyptians came in second with $7.573 billion. Pakistanis were third with $4.489 billion, followed by Bangladeshis with $3.785 billion, Indonesians with $3.281 billion and Filipinos with $3.235 billion.

While India, which has around 28 million citizens living and working abroad, retained its rank as the top recipient of migrant money transfers, its remittance growth slowed in 2014 consequent to the rupee's strength relative to other currencies.

According to a World Bank report, remittance growth remained subdued with a 0.6 per cent growth in 2014 compared to 1.7 per cent in 2013.

The World Bank report estimates that the Indian diaspora has about $44 billion stocked away in savings in the countries in which they work. Mexicans control the largest pool of diaspora savings as the World Bank estimates they have around $53 billion in their accounts. Chinese migrants have a total of around $46 billion, the report said.

The World Bank's Migration and Development Brief predicted that remittance growth from the world's 250 million international migrants would slow to 0.9 per cent in 2015 before picking up to 4.1 per cent in 2016 and 4.2 per cent in the following year.

In comparison with the GCC countries, foreigners in the US and Britain sent home just 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent of GDP, respectively, the report said.

India's diaspora population is mostly concentrated in Asia (11 million), Americas (five million), Middle East (4.2 million), Africa (2.8 million), Europe (1.8 million) and Oceania (one million). Together, they remit $63 billion with contributions from Middle East ($37 billion), Americas ($14 billion), Asia ($10 billion), Europe ($5 billion), Oceania ($2 billion) and Africa ($0.3 billion).

The Middle East accounts for 17.5 per cent of the Indian diaspora population, but contributes nearly 60 per cent of total remittances to India.

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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