Bangladesh, Pakistan record increase in remittances in 2020

Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Mexico became the only three countries that have registered a growth in inward remittances flow in 2020 - a year that saw devastated economies around the world and unprecedented job losses

Feb 20, 2021
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Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Mexico became the only three countries that have registered a growth in inward remittances flow in 2020 - a year that saw devastated economies around the world and unprecedented job losses.  

According to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Bangladesh received around $19.8 billion in remittances in 2020, against $18.4 billion it had received in 2019. Pakistan received $24.1 billion in 2020, in comparison to $22.2 billion in 2019.

Most remittances to these countries come from the Gulf region. The Global inward remittance fell by around 7 percent in the year hit by the pandemic, thus surpassing the fall, 5 percent, it saw during the 2019 global financial crisis.

However, the report warned not to look at these figures as a positive trend. It highlighted a factor unique to 2020.  Most of the workers might have probably transferred their whole local savings after they planned to return upon losing their jobs.

Another factor, it highlighted behind the rise, is the absence of informal channels due to several restrictions for transferring this money. It led to the channeling of more money through formal channels.

The report, titled “COVID-19 and Migrant Remittances: A Hidden Crisis Looming?”, estimated a percent fall in remittances for these two countries in the following year.

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