Migrant remittance flow to developing countries, including India, will be around $ 317 billion this year, a lower-than-expected fall from the year-ago level, but will return to the recovery path in years to come, the World Bank has said.

Remittance flow to developing countries will touch $ 317 billion in 2009, and going forward, the inflows to these nations are expected to remain almost flat in 2010, (with a modest rise of 1.4 per cent) and grow by 3.9 per cent in 2011, the World Bank said in its Migration and Development Brief.

The projected remittance flow this year would represent a 6.1 per cent fall from the 2008 level against the earlier expectation of a 7.3 per cent dip.

As per the newly available data, the officially recorded remittance flow to developing countries reached $ 338 billion in 2008, higher than the previous estimate of $ 328 billion, the World Bank said.

The report further said remittance flows this year as well as in the days to come is likely to witness certain risks, and are expected to slow down “in a lagged response to a weak global economy“.

In the coming days, remittance flows in all the regions are likely to face three downside risks: a jobless economic recovery, tighter immigration controls and unpredictable exchange rate movements.

“With this sluggish pace of recovery, remittance flows are unlikely to reach the 2008 level even by 2011,” the World Bank said as remittance flows could witness significant risks, pursuant to the global slump.

So far this year, South Asia saw better-than-expected remittance flows. Remittance to Pakistan rose by 24 per cent in the first eight months of 2009 on a year-on-year basis, for Bangladesh it was 16 per cent and Nepal (13 per cent).

Regarding India, the report said among other factors, “exchange rate depreciation and widening interest rate differentials encouraged remittances to India for investment purposes.”

Besides, developing countries with migrants in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines have experienced smaller decline in remittance flows.

However, remittance flows to countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region until the third quarter of 2009 show larger declines than expected earlier.

As per the updated remittance flow table, India, China and Mexico retained the top three positions among developing countries and attracted funds up to $ 52 billion, $ 49 billion and $ 26 billion respectively.

The other constituents in the top ten list include - Philippines ($ 19 billion, 4th), Poland ($ 11 billion, 5th), Nigeria ($ 10 billion, 6th), Romania ($ 9 billion, 7th), Bangladesh ($ 9 billion, 8th), Egypt ($ 9 billion, 9th) and Vietnam ($ 7 billion, 10th).

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