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World Bank projects $20.9 bln remittances for Pakistan in 2018

KARACHI: A report released by the World Bank projected Pakistan’s remittances with 6.2% growth will remain $20.9 billion in 2018.

The country was ranked 7th among the top ten recipients of remittances globally with India ranked at 1st with $79.5 billion.

In South Asia, Pakistan was ranked 2nd behind India, the report said.

The World Bank report said that the employment opportunities have contracted in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in 2017 and 2018, mostly in Saudi Arabia because of nationalization policies, as highlighted by lower deployments in Pakistan.

The WB report said that South Asia had the lowest average remittance costs in any world region at 5.4% in the 3rd quarter of 2018.

The Washington-based lender, however, indicated this was a touch higher than the 5.2% percent costs recorded in the previous quarter and a reversal of the steady declines seen since the second quarter of 2017.

The report further said the number of workers registered for overseas employment in Pakistan, dropped by 41% (0.83 million in 2016 to 0.5 million in 2017).

The remittances to South Asia are forecast to grow by 13.5% to $132 billion in 2018, a healthier rise than the 5.7% recorded in 2017.

The upsurge is pushed by stronger economic upsurge in advanced economies, especially the United States and the rise in oil prices having a positive impact on outflows from some GCC countries, such as the United Arab Emirates which reported a 13% growth in outflows for the first half of 2018.

World Bank projects that officially recorded remittances to developing countries would grow by 10.8% to $258 billion in 2018.

Global remittances which include inflows to high-income countries are estimated to rise by 10.3% to $689 billion, said WB.

Remittance inflows to South Asia registered a growth of 13.5%, in Europe and Central 20%, Sub-Saharan Africa 9.8%, Latin America and the Caribbean 9.3%, East Asia and the Pacific 6.6%, Middle East and North Africa 9.1% respectively.

According to official data released by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), overseas Pakistani workers remitted $7.419 billion in the first four months (July to October) of the financial year 2018-19 (FY19), as compared to $6.44 billion received during the same period last year.

During October 2018, the inflow of worker’s remittances amounted to $2.0 billion, which is 37.7 per cent higher than September 2018 and 20.9 per cent higher than October 2017.

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