Monday, April 13, 2015

Third highest remittance inflows (% of GDP) to Nepal in 2013

According to the latest Migration and Development Brief (No.24), official remittance inflows to Nepal reached 28.8% of GDP in 2013, which makes Nepal the third largest remittance recipient in the world. Migrants remitted an estimated US$5.9 billion to Nepal in 2014. The amount of remittance outflows was just US$28 million in 2013. In 2012 as well Nepal was the third highest recipient of remittances (which includes workers' remittances, compensation of employees, and migrant transfers). More on remittances in Nepal here and here.


South-South migration was 37% of total global migrant stock (247 million) and South-South remittances accounted for 34% of global remittance flows. The top five migrant destination countries are the US, Saudi Arabia, Germany, the Russian Federation and the UAE.

The uneven recovery in developed countries, lower oil prices and economic troubles in Russia, tighter immigration controls, and forced migration and internal displacement due to conflicts impacted remittance flows in 2014. The fall in oil prices did not affect remittance from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, especially to South Asian economies in 2014. Remittances could fall if oil prices stays low for extended period.

Top remittance recipients

As a share of GDP in 2013, the top five remittance recipients were Tajikistan (48.8%), Kyrgyz Republic (31.5%), Nepal (28.8%), Moldova (24.9%) and Tonga (24.5%). In 2010, Nepal was the sixth highest remittance recipient in the world.

In US$ term, India received $70.4 billion in 2014, followed by China ($64.1 billion), the Philippines ($28.4 billion), Mexico ($24.9 billion) and France ($24.7 billion).

In South Asia, while India received the highest amount of remittances, Nepal was the highest recipient as a share of its GDP. As a share of total remittance inflows to South Asia, India receives about 60.7% and Nepal 5.1%.

Remittance inflows 2013e (US$ million) Share of GDP, 2012
Nepal           5,875 28.8
Sri Lanka           7,036 9.6
Bangladesh         14,969 9.2
Pakistan         17,060 6.3
India         70,389 3.7
Afghanistan              636 2.6
Bhutan                14 0.7
Maldives                 3 0.1

Global outlook

  • The weak economic growth in Europe, troubles in the Russian economy and the depreciation of the Euro and the Ruble will hit the growth rate of remittances in 2015.
  • Officially recorded remittances to the developing world are expected to reach $440 billion in 2015, an increase of 0.9% over 2014. Global remittances, including those to high income countries, are projected to grow by 0.4% to $586 billion.
  • Remittance flows are expected to recover in 2016 to reach $479 billion by 2017, in line with the more positive global economic outlook.
  • South Asia is expected to see remittances growth of 3.7%, 4.7%, and 4.7% in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, increasing remittance inflows to $120 billion, 126 billion and 132 billion over the same time periods. This is lower than the one estimated in 2014 report.
  • As much as $100 billion in migrant savings could be raised annually by developing countries by reducing remittance costs and migrant recruitment costs, and mobilizing diaspora savings and philanthropic contributions from migrants.
  • The stock of international migrants is estimated at 247 million in 2013 and is expected to surpass 250 million in 2015.