World Bank report said that India has retained its position as the highest recipient of remittances in the world in 2018. The Indian diaspora sent a staggering total of $79 billion back to the country last year. The World Bank says that remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached an all-time high in 2018 with a total $529 billion sent. This is a 9.6% increase from 2017. A large chunk of this increase—12%—can be traced back to the South Asian region.
“The overall increase was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation”, said the World Bank. The GCC is a political and economic tie-up between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank said that China was the second highest recipient with $67 billion, Mexico placed third with $36 billion, the Philippines followed in fourth with $34 billion, and Egypt came fifth with $29 billion.
In general, global remittances peaked at $689 billion in 2018, higher than $633 billion in 2017. The RBI said that 52% of remittances to India come from the Gulf and West Asia. Most of this money comes from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. South Asia’s remittance rate grew by 12% in 2018 when people sent back $131 billion. This rate is twice as high as in 2017 when remittance growth was only 6%. India itself saw a huge surge in remittances that accounted for 2.9% of her GDP in 2018.