The World Bank reported this week that the developing world will receive remittances worth $414 billion in 2013. Nearly a third of the total, $133 million, will end up in India and China.
The total is up by 6.3 percent from 2012 and is projected to rise to $540 billion in three years. The world total for all countries this year will be $550 billion this year and will rise to more than $700 billion by 2016.
India is the top receiving country with $71 billion, followed by China, the Philippines, Mexico and Nigeria with $60 billion, $26 billion, $22 billion and $21 billion, respectively.
However, when charting remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product in the receiving country, the list of top nations looks very different: Tajikistan leads the way at 48 percent, followed by the Kyrgyz Republic at 31 percent, Lesotho and Nepal at 25 percent and Moldova at 24 percent.
Due to the weak American economy, the Latin American and Caribbean populations living in the U.S. have been unable to spare as much money to send home, stalling the remittance rate in those only regions. Remittances to Mexico have also slowed considerably in recent months because of the reduction in immigration to the U.S. since the financial crisis.
By contrast, India’s weakening rupee means remittances are likely to go up. And in Pakistan, which has struggled over the last decade, the government has instituted various incentives to attract remittances.
Due to conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, remittances have soared, especially in places like Syria and Egypt. Nearly 2 million Syrians have fled the country since 2010 into neighboring countries. In 2010, the last date any information was available, $1.6 billion was received into the country. The World Bank predicts that there will only be a modest increase when the next data becomes available because many displaced people will take funds with them.
In Egypt, remittances have tripled since 2009, reaching $20 billion this year.