Sending it home: Egypt tops remittances table in MENA
Egypt received $19.7 billion in remittances from its citizens working abroad in 2015, says Fattouh. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)
Egypt has received $19.7bn in remittances from Egyptian workers in 2015, according to the secretary general of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) Wissam Hassan Fattouh.
In a statement issued by the UAB on Sunday, Fattouh said Egypt ranked first among Arab countries and seventh internationally in receiving remittances, where it acquired about 40.4% of the total remittances sent to the Arab region.
The UAB prepared a study monitoring remittances sent from and to 11 Arab countries.
Fattouh said the decline in oil prices since mid-2014 had a negative impact on the remittances flow as a large number of Arab immigrants are living and working in oil-exporting Arab countries, particularly the Gulf states.
He added that remittances sent to Egypt witnessed a decline during the last period as more than 71.5% of these transfers came from the Gulf states. In the past, the remittances sent to Egypt grew at a rate estimated at 9.7% in 2014 and 0.7% in 2015.
“The number of migrant workers from Arab countries amounts to about 24 million people, and the volume of remittances to their home countries reached about $49bn in 2015,” according to Fattouh.
He said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, except Bahrain, entered the list of the top 20 countries in sending remittances internationally in 2014. Saudi Arabia came in second place after the United States.
“The total remittances sent by 29 million workers in the Gulf States reached about $98bn in 2014. A large part of those remittances was sent to the Arab countries and the rest sent largely to several other countries such as India, the Philippines, and Pakistan,” according to Fattouh.
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