For many developing countries, the experts believed that remittances constitute a large source of international income relative to other financial flows. The World Bank (WB) predicts that officially registered remittances to low and middle-income countries stood $466 billion during 2017, a rise of 8.5 percent over $429 billion during 2016. World Bank’s statistics also showed that the global remittances, which include flows to high-income states, increased 7.0 percent to $613 billion during 2017, from $573 billion during 2016. Remittance inflows enhanced in all regions and the major remittance recipients were India with $69 billion, followed by China ($64 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion).
The official of World Bank noted that remittances are predicted to continue to rise in 2018, by 4.1 percent to touch $485 billion. Migrant economic remittances are a significant and growing source of international funds for various developing countries. Presently, these flows are greater than double the official aid received by developing states. Global remittances are predicted to increase 4.6 percent to $642 billion in this year. Traditionally, in some countries economic remittances have become as large as foreign direct investment (FDI) and, in a large group of developing countries; remittances show a resource inflow that often exceeds a variety of other balance of payments flows. Furthermore, since remittances are largely personal transactions from migrants to their friends and families, they tend to be well targeted to the needs of their recipients.
In the series of developing countries like Pakistan, statistics showed that overseas Pakistani workers remitted home 21 percent higher remittances amounting to $2 billion during October 2018 as a historic drop in the rupee’s value attracted increased flow of remittances through official channels.
The overseas workers remitted $1.65 billion during October previous year. Sources mentioned that the rupee registered a historic drop of Rs 9.38, or 7.6 percent, in a single day to the then record low of Rs 133.64 to the US dollar in October. Cumulatively, the rupee has depreciated by a massive 27 percent in 5-round in the last 11-month. An important recovery in global crude oil prices also helped Pakistani workers to send a higher amount to their homes. Approximately 10 million Pakistanis are working in overseas markets while a majority of them are based in oil producing and exporting countries in Gulf states.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported that, cumulatively, overseas Pakistani workers remitted $7.42 billion in the first 4-months (July to October) of FY2019, which was 15 percent larger than the $6.44 billion received in the corresponding period of preceding year. Statistics also showed that inflows during October 2018 were almost 38 percent higher than the $1.45 billion received in the last month of September 2018.
Experts also mentioned that in country-wise figures for October 2018 explained that inflows from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, USA, the UK, other GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries worth to $494.53 million, $412 million, $308.78 million, $298.80 million, $198.30 million and $57.36 million respectively as against with inflows of $461.07 million, $333.57 million, $215.64 million, $270.46 million, $184.76 million and $51.12 million during October 2017.Moreover, remittances received from Malaysia, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the month worth to $230.68 million as against $137.83 million in October 2017. Unluckily, sources mentioned that Pakistan is not well placed on the global competitiveness index. The experts recorded that it is ranked 115th – a ranking which is even lower than those of Central Asian states like Tajikistan, which has got a ranking of 79, Kazakhstan 57 and Kyrgyzstan 102.
Pakistan’s performance on other indicators is also disappointing like basic requirements, where its rank is 114th, efficiency enhancers (104) and innovation and sophistication (72). The condition is almost similar on the indicators of institutions (90) and infrastructure (110). They have also recorded that even on these indicators; some Central Asian countries are at higher places than our country. Tajikistan and Kazakhstan stand at 42nd and 60th places respectively on the institutions indicator and on the infrastructure index Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have 68th, 99th and 109th rankings respectively.
Although Pakistan is the 28th largest economy globally, its competitiveness indicators are very poor. I would like to mention here after the present visits of Prime Minister to the different states, the business activities have started enhancing, adding that business community hoped that the Government of Pakistan would steer the country out of economic crisis. It is also expected that the present government would take all steps for the betterment of Pakistan and its strategies would not resemble the strategies last governments.