MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines remained one of the largest recipients of foreign remittances in 2014, according to a World Bank report.
India remained in the top spot last year, attracting an estimated $70 billion in foreign remittances, followed by China with $64 billion, the Philippines with $28 billion, Mexico with $25 billion, and Nigeria with $21 billion.
Global remittance receipts increased 4.7 percent to $583 billion in 2014 from 2013, the World Bank said. The figure is expected to hit $586 billion this year and to $636 billion by 2017.
“Remittances remain a key source of funds for developing countries, far exceeding official development assistance and even foreign direct investment excluding China,” the World Bank said.
“They have proved to be more stable than private debt and portfolio equity flows. A recent analysis reported in the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects 2015 shows that remittances are also less volatile than official aid flows,” it added.
Remittances last year were affected by the uneven growth across developing countries, falling oil prices, tighter immigration controls, and conflicts across the globe, the report said.
For East Asia and the Pacific region alone, the World Bank said that while remittances should remain robust this year, its growth rate may be slower than what was seen in 2014.
“Remittances to the East Asia and Pacific Region remain high in absolute terms, and continue to support domestic consumption and boost real estate markets,” the World Bank said.
Money sent home by migrant workers to the region went up 7.6 percent to $122 billion last year, the second fastest increase following the 7.7 percent recorded in the Middle-East and North Africa region.
World Bank noted that while China and the Philippines are the largest recipients in the region, smaller Pacific island countries such as Tonga and Samoa are the “most dependent” on these inflows as they make up more than 20 percent of their gross domestic product.
“Overall, the outlook for remittances to the ... region remains moderately favorable, as indicated by a steady deployment of workers abroad, including from the Philippines,” the World Bank said.
But remittance inflows are seen climbing by a slower 2.8 percent to $125 billion this year, the bank said.
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