Overseas Pakistanis from GCC remits record $3.32b to Pakistan

DUBAI – Overseas Pakistanis residing in GCC states remitted greater than 26 per cent foreign exchange to the country by sending $3.32 billion in the financial year 2007-08.  

 

According to statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the central bank, remittances from the UAE exceeded the $1 billion mark for the first tim.

Dubai contributed significant share as the amount remitted from the emirate stood at $761.24 million followed by Abu Dhabi ($298.8 million) and Sharjah ($28.58) million.

$6 billion mark: Banking officials in Pakistan told Khaleej Times that remittances reached $6.45 billion on strong inflows from the GCC region.

“GCC contributes 48.52 per cent in total remittances and this year inflows from the region crossed $3 billion for the first time,” they said. Last year, remittances from GCC states exceeded $2.5 billion mark.

Saudi Arabia ($1.25 billion) and UAE ($1.09 billion) remained on top by keeping strong inflows to Pakistan, while other GCC states – Kuwait ($384.58 million), Qatar ($233.36 million), Oman ($224.94 million) and Bahrain ($140.51 million) – also contributed significantly during last financial year.

Single largest contributor: Besides GCC, inflows from US and European Union also remained on higher side that helped Pakistan to receive all-time high remittances in last financial year. The United States is the single largest contributor in remittances as overseas Pakistanis in US sent $1.76 billion foreign exchange in 2007-08 as against $1.45 billion in 2006-07.

Remittances from European Union amounted to $635.51 million in which United Kingdom ($458.87 million) contributed the major share.

Moreover, inflows from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries recorded negative growth as remittances down 10.82 per cent to $726.29 million in 2007-08 from $804.91 million in 2006-07.

Highest monthly inflows: Workers’ remittances recorded highest ever increase in March this year as the inflows surged to $602.21 million as against $520.24 million in March 2007, reflecting an increase of 15.76 per cent.

However, in terms of percentage change, remittance inflows surged 42.35 per cent in January ($557.07 million) this year.

Remittances registered only 0.85 per cent growth in December 2007 when the country received $479.26 million as against $475.21 million in December 2006.

Talking to Khaleej Times, a senior official at a local bank said remittances remained high in recent years and inflows are likely to maintain the present trend during this financial year as well.

muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

Source: Khaleej Times

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