Indians remitted $50 Billion in 2009; more than global counterparts

Monday, 29 November 2010, 18:15 Hrs
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Geneva: Indians working overseas send more money back home than any of their global counterparts, remitting $50 billion in 2009 despite a worldwide economic slowdown and anti-immigration measures adopted by industrialised countries, according to a report.

In contrast, overseas workers from neighbouring China remitted $47 billion during the year, as per the World Migration Report 2010.

Together, the two Asian giants accounted for nearly half of total remittance inflows into Asia, which were pegged at $ 162.5 billion in 2009. This translated into about 39 per cent of total global remittances.

At a time when migrants are subjected to numerous difficulties, "governments have to make targeted and concerted efforts in managing migration", said the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which brought out the report.

"The international community risks losing a historic opportunity to take advantage of this global phenomenon if adequate policies and resources are not put into place in a timely manner," the report warned.

India is one of the prominent sources of both inward and outward migration.

"The Indian diaspora numbers almost 25 million persons, 10 per cent of whom can be found in the USA," said the report, adding that the other destinations with a sizeable Indian population include Singapore, Malaysia and Gulf states.

In South-Central Asia, which includes Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the number of international migrants "is on the rise again, with an estimated 14.3 million migrants in 2010," as per the report.

"India remains the main country of destination in Asia, although its migrant stock decreased by 1.6 per cent between 2005 and 2010.

"India and Pakistan, as the largest economies in South- Central Asia, are less export-reliant than many economies in East Asia and South East Asia," the report notes, arguing that these two countries were spared growth shocks during the global crisis as a result.

Consequently, remittance flows to South Asia contracted by a modest 1.8 per cent in 2009, compared to a 7.5 per cent decline in other developing countries.

Global remittances , which are the mainstay for numerous developing countries, fell last year because of the economic recession and rising anti-immigration measures in several industrialised countries.

More than the political obstacles to migration in industrialised and key developing countries, governments will also have to pay attention to various social challenges, including urbanisation, the impact of climate change and global work force imbalances, said the IOM.

It argued that "an effective response to emerging global migration challenges requires building capacity, including stronger partnerships, between countries of origin, destination and transit, clearly defined national migration policy goals and greater policy coherence."
Source: PTI
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