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Pakistan in top 5 remittance recipients in the region: ADB

MANILA: Asian Development Bank has released its list of countries receiving a high amount of remittance from abroad in 2019. 

“The region’s top five recipients of remittances in 2018 were India ($78.6 billion), China ($67.4 billion), the Philippines ($33.8 billion), Pakistan ($21 billion), and Viet Nam ($15.9 billion),” the ADB said in its 50th edition of key indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2019.

In the preceding year, Pakistan received $20 billion in remittances, representing almost 7% of the country’s GDP. Pakistan has one the largest diaspora population in the world with approximately 7.6 million Pakistani are living abroad.

Remittances from Saudi Arabia topped the list, as Pakistanis remitted $3.74 billion in the first 9 months of 2019. The combined contribution of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Gulf Cooperation Countries to total Pakistani remittances was 54.1%.

The other major contributions come from the United States where workers sent back $2.5 billion, and the United Kingdom, which remitted $2.47 billion.

“Economic turnaround in the US and the UK in the recent past resulted in declining unemployment and rising wages, and both factors contributed to a sharp rise in remittances from these countries,” the central bank report said.

However, the country’s exports have declined, in 2018, exports accounted for 8.5 percent of ADB compared with 13.5 percent in 2010, 14.3 percent in 2005 and 12.1 percent in 2000. Imports of goods and services accounted for 19.4 percent of GDP in 2018 compared with 13.2 percent in 2000.

Similarly ADB’s report revealed that Pakistan was also among the countries that received the largest amounts of financial and technical assistance. The largest amounts of average annual financial and technical assistance, during 2009–2017, went to Afghanistan ($1.405 billion), Indonesia ($1.310 billion), and Pakistan ($894 million).

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