Friday, June 17, 2011

UAE outpaces GCC in remittance growth: Sudhir Kumar Shetty, COO of UAE Exchange.

Remittances by the UAE-based migrant workers grew 11 per cent in 2010, at a faster pace compared to the 6.1 per cent surge in the amount remitted by expatriates across the GCC, a leading global money transfer company said.
Money remitted by foreign workers in the UAE rose to $10.54 billion in 2010 from $9.51 billion in 2009, “a clear indication that after a protracted downturn and a slump in job market during 2008 and 2009, the country’s economy had returned to a recovery mode, Sudhir Kumar Shetty, chief operating officer of UAE Exchange Centre, said.
Shetty said even the uptick in the GCC remittance market in comparison to the global figures reflects the resilience of the region in the wake of increased investments in development projects. “With the exception of the construction related sectors, UAE’s traditional industries including trade, hospitality and tourism have shown robust growth to underpin the migrant job market, he said.
Total expatriate workers’ remittances from the GCC rose to $63.75 billion in 2010 from $60.03 billion in the previous year, up 6.1 per cent compared to an upturn of 2.44 per cent in worldwide remittances that, according the World Bank, reached $325 billion from $317.23 billion in 2009.
The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, predicted that outward remittances from the GCC, which has over 12 million expatriates and is the second largest source of private financial transfers, second only to the US, are estimated to reach $74.9 billion in 2011 on the back of an all-around growth fuelled by higher oil revenues. A World Bank forecast says that the total amount of remittance to developing nations will continue to increase in the coming years with a growth of about 6.2 per cent in 2011 and 8.1 per cent in 2012.
India, the largest recipient country, in terms of both global and GCC remittances, accounts for roughly 50 per cent of money transferred from the Gulf, estimated to be between $25 and $30 billion in 2010, Shetty said.
Shetty said the first four months of 2011 also showed similar robust trends. “Global remittance through our exchange grew eight per cent to $5.84 billion in the first four months, while the GCC and the UAE showed growth rates of seven per cent and two per cent to reach $4.1 billion and $2.66 billion respectively during the same period,” he said.
UAE Exchange, UAE’s home-grown global brand leader in money transfers with a network of 510 branches across 23 countries, accounted for 64 per cent of total worker remittances from the UAE in 2010. “There has been a steady growth in the volume of remittances through UAE Exchange from the UAE, the GCC and globally. In 2010, workers from the UAE remitted $6.7 billion through our exchange, up 11 per cent from $6 billion recorded in 2009,” Shetty said.
Total remittances transacted through UAE Exchange in the GCC rose to $11.04 billion from $9.4 billion, boosting its regional market share from 16b per cent to 17 per cent, while worldwide money transfer transactions through the company almost hit $17 billion, up from $15.7 billion, accounting for 5.23 per cent of the global remittance market, Shetty said.
According to World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011, India continued to be the largest recipient of remittances in 2010. Remittances rose from $49.6 billion in 2009 to $55 billion. Combined, India and China, which received $51 billion in remittances, account for almost a quarter of the worldwide remittance flows of $440 billion in 2010.
India was ranked the second largest number of emigrants after Mexico. 11.4 million people from India went abroad in 2010 while 5.4 million came to India, making India No. 10 in the global list of nations attracting the most immigrants. India is the second largest Asian country only after Saudi Arabia to attract most immigrants.
With a rising population of more than 215 million international migrants in the world, remittances received by developing countries alone are estimated to be to the tune of $325 billion in 2010, states a World Bank study.
Pakistan received 13.32 per cent higher remittances to $9.4 billion in 2010.
The World Bank estimated the inflow of expatriates’ remittances to Lebanon at $8.2 billion in 2010, a rise of 8.2 per cent from $7.6 billion in 2009 and $7.2 billion in 2008 and $5.8 billion in 2007.Remittance flows to the Philippines haven risen by 7.8 per cent taking the country among the top 5 nations with highest remittances. Bangladesh, the eighth most populous country, is ranked 7th among the nations receiving highest remittances.