Around 25 million foreigners including Indians working in Gulf countries sent over $100 billion in the form of remittances to their home countries last year, according to a report published today.
The USD 100 billion figure was twice as high as remittances in 2010 which is an indication of strong growth, Raghu Mandagoathur, the head of economic research at Kuwait Financial Center (Markaz), said.
The amount is estimated at 6.2 per cent of the combined GDP of the six GCC states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the report of CFA Institute citing IMF and World Bank data said.
Comparatively, foreigners working in the United States sent home 0.7 per cent while those in the United Kingdom sent 0.8 per cent of GDP in remittances, the report said.
The list was topped by Saudi Arabia as its estimated 10 million expats sent home USD 44 billion, followed by the UAE with 29 billion in remittances.
The report, however, did not give a nationality wise breakdown remittances by expatriates.
Around 25 million expats live in the Gulf Cooperation Council states.
The majority of Gulf expatriates are said to come from India followed by Egypt, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan among others.
Among the reasons behind the growth in remittances is that GCC countries charge no income tax on salaries paid to expatriates, which is a huge factor that attracts expatriates to opportunities here.
GCC countries have restrictions on what foreigners can own and invest in, which crowds out investment opportunities for expatriates. While some markets such as Dubai have opened up for foreigners, most of them are still out of bounds, the report pointed out.
Besides, expatriates working in the Gulf require to support their families back home economically, it added.