Israel is one of the top 10 remittance sources to Egypt, according to a recent report published by the World Bank about expatriate transfers to this Arab country. According to the report, Egyptians workers abroad transferred more than US$5 billion last year, with Saudi Arabia being the leading source, followed by Libya and the United States, the America in Arabic news agency reported.
Other sources of Egyptian expat remittances are Italy, Canada, the West Band and Gaza, Oman, Australia, Israel and Greece.
According to the report, remittances from Israel to Egypt hit US$48 million, Saudi Arabia US$1.68 billion, Libya US$382 million, the United States US$328 million, Palestine US$78 million, Italy US$123 million, and Canada US$85 million.
The World Bank described the Egyptian workforce in Saudi Arabia as one the most important in the world. The Indian workforce in the United Arab Emirates ranks as the biggest with 2.5 million expat workers.
The World Bank estimated the number of Egyptians working abroad at 2.4 million, according to 2005 data. This figure constitutes 3.2% of the total Egyptian population and 4.3% of the total national revenue. It should be noted that remittances from expatriates, along with tourism, Suez Canal transit fees and gas and oil exports, are the four major foreign currency earners for Egypt.
Official data published late last year indicated that remittances from expatriates during the 2005/2006 fiscal year ending on June 30 grew by by 14 percent over the previous fiscal year.