Having received USD 70 billion in 2013, India has topped the list of countries receiving remittances from overseas workers, the World Bank said today.
The World Bank's latest issue of the Migration and Development Brief, said international migrants from developing countries are expected to send USD 436 billion in remittances to their home countries this year (2014).
In 2014, remittance flows to developing countries will see an increase of 7.8 per cent over the 2013 volume of USD 404 billion, rising to USD 516 billion in 2016.
Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated at USD 581 billion this year, from USD 542 billion in 2013, rising to USD 681 billion in 2016.
"Remittances have become a major component of the balance of payments of nations. India led the chart of remittance flows, receiving USD 70 billion last year (2013), followed by China with USD 60 billion and the Philippines with USD 25 billion," said Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.
India had received USD 69 billion in remittances in 2012.
Basu said there was no doubt that these flows act as an antidote to poverty and promote prosperity.
"Remittances and migration data are also barometers of global peace and turmoil and this is what makes the World Bank's KNOMAD (Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development) initiative to organise, analyse, and make available these data so important," said Basu.
For many developing countries, remittances are an important source of foreign exchange, surpassing earnings from major exports, and covering a substantial portion of imports.
In India, remittances during 2013 were USD 70 billion, more than the USD 65 billion earned from the country's flagship software services exports, the World Bank said.
Dilip Ratha, Manager of the Migration and Remittances Team at the bank's Development Prospects Group said that in addition to the large annual flows of remittances, migrants living in high income countries are estimated to hold savings in excess of USD 500 billion annually.
"These savings represent a huge pool of funds that developing countries can do much more to tap into," he said.