India leads list of top five remittance recipient countries in 2023

World Bank said growth in remittances in India is expected to 12.4 percent in 2023.

New Delhi: In 2023, India leads the list of top five remittance recipient nations as the country saw the highest amount of inflows in the world. The country received USD 125 billion, driven by several factors, including the agreement with the UAE, for promoting the use of dirhams and rupees for bilateral trade, the World Bank said.

In a report, the World Bank further said growth in remittances in India is expected to halve to 12.4 percent in 2023 from a historic peak of 24.4 percent in 2022.

“Remittances are expected to increase by USD 14 billion and rise to USD 125 billion in 2023, increasing India’s share in South Asian remittances to 66 per cent in 2023 from 63 per cent in 2022,” said the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief.

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List of top five remittance recipient countries

India was followed by Mexico, China, the Philippines, and Egypt. Following the list of countries and amount of remittances.

  1. India (USD 125 billion)
  2. Mexico (USD 67 billion)
  3. China (USD 50 billion)
  4. The Philippines (USD 40 billion)
  5. Egypt (USD 24 billion)

Economies where remittance inflows represent substantial shares of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — highlighting the importance of remittances for funding current account and fiscal shortfalls — are Tajikistan (48 percent), Tonga (41 percent), Samoa (32 percent), Lebanon (28 percent), and Nicaragua (27 percent).

Factors that boosted remittances to India

On India, the World Bank said the main contributing factors are declining inflation and strong labour markets in high-income source countries, which boosted remittances from highly skilled Indians in the US, the UK, and Singapore, which collectively account for 36 percent of the total remittance flows to New Delhi.

“Remittance flows to India were also boosted by higher flows from the GCC, especially the UAE, which accounts for 18 percent of India’s total remittances and is the second-largest source of them after the US,” the report said.

It further said remittance flows to India benefited particularly from its February 2023 agreement with the UAE for establishing a framework to promote the use of local currencies for cross-border transactions and cooperation for interlinking payment and messaging systems.

The use of dirhams and rupees in cross-border transactions will be instrumental in channeling more remittances through formal channels, it said.

Remittances to low- and middle-income countries grew an estimated 3.8 percent in 2023, a moderation from the high gains of the previous two years.

Of concern is the risk of decline in real income for migrants in 2024 in the face of global inflation and low growth prospects, the report added.

With inputs from PTI

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