Pakistan’s Remittances Might Cross Record $28 Billion This Year

Limited cross-border travel due to the coronavirus and favourable foreign exchange market dynamics were also crucial factors.

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Saudi Iqama and Visa-holders Get a Huge ReliefPakistan is expected to acquire record remittance inflows of up to $28 billion this year.

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This comes as initiatives launched by the authorities and central bank to facilitate overseas workers have started yielding positive results despite the COVID-19 pandemic challenges.

Overseas Pakistanis living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are likely to maintain upward momentum in remittances. They contributed 60.14% of the total inflows during the July-December 2020 period.

Pakistan received $14.203 billion remittances during the first half of the financial year 2020-21, against $11.37 billion in the same period last year — a healthy growth of 24.9%. This is the highest half-yearly growth since the financial year 2006-07.

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“This strong growth in workers’ remittances is credited to the increased use of formal channels on the back of sustained efforts by the authorities and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to encourage inflows via official channels,” said the central bank in a statement.

Limited cross-border travel due to the coronavirus and favourable foreign exchange market dynamics were also crucial factors.

Remittances from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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Overseas Pakistanis residing in the UAE remitted $2.96 billion during the July-December 2020 period, compared to $2.78 billion in the corresponding period last year — a growth of 6.5%.

Pakistani carpenter Mohammad Idris Malek in Dubai, UAE. (Clint Egbert/Gulf News)

Workers residing in Dubai sent 5.6% more money back home, as they remitted $2.45 billion during the first half of the fiscal year 2020-21. Overseas Pakistanis in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah sent $418.4 million and $34.5 million in remittances, respectively.

Remittances from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

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Remittance inflows from Saudi Arabia also recorded a significant boost during the first half of the fiscal year 2020-21. Overseas Pakistanis remitted $3.96 billion, compared to $3.17 billion in the corresponding period last year — a growth of 24.6%.

“Workers residing in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states remitted $1.62 billion as against $1.52 billion in the same period last year, reflecting a growth of 6.6%,” according to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

In December, Pakistan received $2.4 billion remittances, compared to $2.1 billion in December 2019, showing an increase of 16.2%.

This is the seventh month in a row that remittances crossed the $2 billion mark. It provides a new lifeline to the Pakistani economy, which is expected to return to growth this year.

The United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), and the United States (US).

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In addition to the Persian Gulf region, remittance inflows from the United Kingdom (UK) rose to $1.88 billion from $1.23 billion in the same first-half period last year, recording a record growth of 51.7%.

Pakistanis residing in the European Union (EU) states remitted $1.29 billion, showing a healthy growth of 41.7%.

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Remittances from the US also registered a growth of 47.5% with $1.2 billion remitted during the July-December 2020 period, against $816.8 million remitted in the previous year.

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