Diaspora Bonds Can Be A Powerful Tool – World Bank

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News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Nov. 23, 2012: Diaspora bonds can be a powerful financial instrument for mobilizing Diaspora savings to finance specific public and private sector projects in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as other developing nations globally.

That’s the word from The World Bank as it revealed this week that remittances to developing countries will reach $534 billion in 2015. The Caribbean will see a modest growth of 2.9 percent in 2012, totaling an estimated $64 billion.

The World Bank says Diaspora Bonds can help improve the debt profile of destination countries and has up a Diaspora Bond Task Force to provide technical assistance to countries interested in implementing such bonds for financing development projects.

“Migrant workers are displaying tremendous resilience in the face of the continuing economic crisis in advanced countries,” said Dilip Ratha, Manager of the Bank’s Migration and Remittances Unit and lead author of the Migration and Development Brief. “Their agility in finding alternate employment and cutting down on personal expenses has prevented large scale return to their home countries.”

Remittances to developing countries are projected to grow by 7.9 percent in 2013, 10.1 percent in 2014 and 10.7 percent in 2015.

Worldwide remittances, including those to high-income countries, are expected to total $534 billion in 2012, and projected to grow to $685 billion in 2015, according to the latest issue of the Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, released on November 20th.

The top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2012 are India ($70 billion), China ($66 billion), the Philippines and Mexico ($24 billion each), and Nigeria ($21 billion). Other large recipients include Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Lebanon.

As a percentage of GDP, the top recipients of remittances, in 2011, were Tajikistan (47 percent), Liberia (31 percent), Kyrgyz Republic (29 percent), Lesotho (27 percent), Moldova (23 percent), Nepal (22 percent), and Samoa (21 percent).

But the Bank said remittance costs are still too high, averaging 7.5% in top 20 remittance corridors; the worldwide average cost is about 9%.