Friday, December 27, 2019

Over Half Million Pakistanis Migrating Abroad Each Year

Nearly 600,000 Pakistanis have gone overseas for work in the first 11 months of this year, according to figures recently released by Pakistan Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment. This phenomenon has helped reduce unemployment in a country where about 2 million young people are entering the job market each year. It has also helped remittances soar nearly 21X since the year 2000.



Emigrants From Pakistan 1990-2019. Source: Pakistan Bureau of Emigration

Migration Overseas:

Over 11 million Pakistanis have left home for employment in Europe, America, Middle East and elsewhere since 1971, according to Pakistan Bureau of Emigration. The pace has particularly picked up over the last 10 years with over half a million Pakistanis migrating abroad each year.  This phenomenon has helped reduce unemployment in a country where about 2 million young people are entering the job market each year.

Emigrants From Pakistan 1971-2019. Source: Pakistan Bureau of Emigration


More Pakistanis have migrated overseas in the last 9 years (2011-2019) than in previous 30 years (1971-2010).  The average figure has been about 500,000 each year since 2011. The highest was 946,571 in 2015 while the lowest was 382,439 in 2018.  These figures do not include Pakistanis who went abroad for education and never returned.


Remittance inflows from Pakistani diaspora have jumped 21-fold from about $1 billion in year 2000 to $21 billion in 2018, according to the World Bank. In terms of GDP, these inflows have soared nearly 7X from about 1% in year 2000 to 6.9% of GDP in 2018.

Composition of Pakistan Emigrants. Infographic Courtesy of Gulf News

Myths About Emigration:

common myth about emigration is that it is driven by poverty. But the fact is that the poorest and least developed people tend to stay put where they are; they do not migrate. It's only people who have a certain level of income and skills who are more likely to migrate to other countries for better opportunities. This fact has been well-established by multiple studies conducted in Africa.

Here's an except of African Development Bank report on migration:

"Results show that despite increase in the absolute number of migrants, Africa, particularly SubSaharan Africa has one of the lowest rate of emigration in the world .... Poorer countries generally have lower rate of emigration ......Bad socio-economic conditions generally seem to lead to higher rate of emigration by highly skilled individuals. Generally, migration is driven by motives to improve livelihoods with notable evidence on changes in labor market status. Often, self-employed or unemployed émigré ended up in wage employment. The paper outlines policy issues emerging from the migration trend in Africa."

Migration vs Human Development Source: Hein de Haas










Data shows that increased human and economic development is initially associated with increasing emigration. Any form of development in the poorest countries of the world is therefore likely to lead to accelerating emigration. Such findings contradict conventional thinking and force us to radically change our views on migration. Such rethinking can be achieved by learning to see migration as an intrinsic part of broader development processes rather than as a problem to be solved, or the temporary response to development “disequilibria”, according to The Conversation, a US publication.

Migration to Non-English Speaking OECD Nations:

Migration data for 2016 released by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of rich industrialized nations of Europe, North America and East Asia, shows that a growing number of Pakistanis are migrating to its non-English Speaking member countries. Traditionally, most Pakistanis migrating to rich industrialized nations have preferred to go to English-Speaking nations. The biggest factor driving such migrations appears to be the growing labor shortages caused by aging populations and declining birth rates in OECD member nations.

Among the biggest non-English Speaking OECD destinations in 2016 for Pakistani migrants are Italy (14,735)  , Germany (12,215), Spain (6,461), South Korea (2,724), Japan (1,486), France (1,350) and Sweden (1.211). 

Pakistani Migration to Non-English Speaking OECD Nations in 2016. Source: OECD


Among English Speaking OECD nations, the top destination for Pakistani migrants continues to be the United States (19,313) followed by Canada (11,335), United Kingdom (11,000) and Australia (6,958). 

Young Population Decline in Major Labor Exporting Countries. Source: Nikkei



Internal Migration:

Internal migration in Pakistan far exceeds external migration. Estimates from the 2014-2015 Labor Force Survey (LFS) indicate that the internal migrant population is roughly four times larger than the emigrant population. This means that some 13% of the Pakistani population is an internal migrant, according to Pakistan Migration Snapshot published in August, 2019.

Like most developing nations, the internal migration in Pakistan is linked to the differences in level of development between urban and rural regions with people moving for better employment and to overcome poverty. Pakistan has also experienced many natural hazards, which have caused numerous waves of internal displacement and internal migration (Sadia et al., 2017; Cibea et al, 2013).

Summary:

Pakistan is in the midst massive migration, both internal and external. Over half a million Pakistanis are migrating overseas while about 2 million are migrating internally from rural to urban areas. These trends are transforming the nation. Overseas remittances are soaring. Pakistan is becoming more urban. The country is also seeing growing foreign cultural influences from both the West and the Middle East.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan is the 7th Largest Source of Migrants in OECD Nations

Pakistanis Mini-Invasion of China

Inspirational Story of Karachi Rickshaw Driver's Daughters

Pakistan Remittance Soar 21X

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

Two Million Pakistanis Entering Job Market Every Year

Pakistan Most Urbanized in South Asia

Hindu Population Growth Rate in Pakistan

Do South Asian Slums Offer Hope?


35 comments:

Baradar said...

انشاء اللہ وقت آنے پر بہت سے تجربے کے ساتھ واپس آئیں گے اور ملک کو بہتر بنائیں گے۔


ایک ایک بندہ لاکھوں بندوں کے برابر ہو گا۔

Asif said...

This number of half million statistics is very good number on behalf of Pakistan nations. As I can remember back when I was with IBM the Indian supervisor used to comment on immigration from Pakistan in comparison to huge Indian numbers in terms of insignificant to irrelevant numbers of total 40k to 50k per annual, therefore this is a huge achievement of legal immigrants.

Farooq said...

Pakistan-Americans on average are doing much better than the average American

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/AAPI-Pakistani-factsheet.pdf

Ahmad N. said...

All these Immigrants are talented people. They send remittances back to Pakistan which is vital for our economy. Our economy is not capable enough to provide job to all of its working force. Brain drain is out of the question. Its more like Rusting minds of Young professionals who don't find work here according to their skill and qualification. Plus our country is already over populated and our industry over employeed and Inefficient by that reason.
Don't just find a negative in every news

Ahmad F. said...

Not sure if that is a good thing— people emigrating. Shows lack of opportunity at home. A vote of no confidence.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: " Not sure if that is a good thing— people emigrating. Shows lack of opportunity at home. A vote of no confidence"


Or better opportunity overseas than at home!

At 17.5 million, Indian diaspora largest in the world : UN report
India's leading country of origin of international migrants with a 17.5 mn strong diaspora, a UN report said.

Migrants from Mexico constituted the second largest diaspora (11.8 million), followed by China (10.7 million), Russia (10.5 million), Syria (8.2 million), Bangladesh (7.8 million), Pakistan (6.3 million), Ukraine (5.9 million), the Philippines (5.4 million) and Afghanistan (5.1 million).

At the country level, about half of all international migrants reside in just 10 countries, with the United States of America hosting the largest number of international migrants (51 million), equal to about 19 per cent of the world's total.

Germany and Saudi Arabia host the second and third largest numbers of migrants (13 million each), followed by Russia (12 million), the United Kingdom (10 million), the United Arab Emirates (9 million), France, Canada and Australia (around 8 million each) and Italy (6 million).


https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/nris-in-news/at-17-5-million-indian-diaspora-largest-in-the-world-un-report/articleshow/71179163.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Myth: If poor countries get more aid, people won’t migrate
Some political leaders say that if we give more development aid to poor countries – especially in Africa – then their citizens won’t want to move away.

Truth: Economic growth leads to more migration

When countries develop, their citizens have more resources and skills, which allow them to migrate. This is called the “migration paradox”. Mexico, the Philippines and Turkey – all middle-income countries – produce substantial numbers of migrants. Very poor people don’t have the resources to migrate. The right to migrate is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

http://journey.caritas.org/?myth=poor-countries-get-aid-people-wont-migrate

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan at a crossroads
Nuno Lopes | Shahid Farooq Updated December 28, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1524873/pakistan-at-a-crossroads

WITH over 200 million inhabitants, Pakis­tan stands at a crossroads. Recovering from a devastating surge of terrorism, it is now in its third consecutive democratic government.

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Traffic congestion and air pollution are common features in Pakistan today, and rapid urbanisation has created under-resourced urban settlements, causing unprecedented levels of economic, spatial, social and infrastructural challenges.

Urban settlements are the engines of growth and development, and, therefore, they can make or break a country’s sustainability. Pakistan is experiencing a turning point in sustainability, with many areas at the lowest ebb of urban crisis. In the UN 2018 e-government index for 2018, Pakistan’s largest city Karachi was ranked as the lowest among 40 cities of the world assessed for resilience and sustainability through e-governance.

This makes a holistic and integrated vision of urban challenges more necessary than ever. In this context, a smart sustainable cities paradigm has emerged worldwide as a solution to these challenges. As defined by the Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance of the United Nations University, a smart sustainable city is one that implements a transformative governance process, oriented at building capacities to solve multidimensional and complex problems, conducted within a multidisciplinary team and with the collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders, aiming to achieve sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

Pakistan’s major cities are exactly at the threshold where policymakers have no choice but to adopt this concept. Implicitly, Pakistan Vision 2025 already suggested a smart city transformation, by stating that it “seeks to ensure that Pakistan’s cities are digitally connected [and] equipped with wireless network sensors ... thereby laying the foundations for the cities of Pakistan to be smart and creative”. However, this is still a very simplistic smart city vision, as it is based only on technologies and does not mention the need to build capabilities and competences for solving urban problems.

This narrow understanding of the smart city concept limits its practical implementation. Countries under these circumstances tend to be more easily influenced by multinational IT companies or by more developed countries, which want to sell their solutions as though they are a universal remedy. To be effective, the smart city concept must be understood, absorbed and implemented by Pakistani citizens, as they are the ones who know better what they need and want for their future.

Pakistan cannot afford to lose momentum or else it will run the risk of definitively losing its competitiveness in the region as well as globally. Given that its neighbours China and India are much more advanced in the field of smart cities, with very ambitious national plans and tech innovation hubs, Pakistan has to seize the opportunity to become more economically competitive and sustainable.

The country has favourable factors that can enable and boost a fast transformation. First, it can harness the opportunities offered by CPEC; second, it has a good ICT infrastructure, with 100 per cent 3G/4G mobile coverage, which can be used to implement smart technological solutions; and third, cities such as Lahore, Peshawar and Multan have a very rich cultural heritage, and these unique features can have a catalyst effect. In addition, these cities have a flourishing IT industry with a growing number of IT parks, data centres and innovative tech incubators which can attract international investors.

Syed H said...

But is the half a million figure an absolute figure or a net figure.....? I think it is the former, an absolute figure. What I mean is that it does not capture the number of Pakistanis returning to Pakistan. This is important, and a point often overlooked by Pakistani origin people living, like myself, in the West.

Pakistanis in the West often immigrate to permanently settle down, and acquire permanent forms of residency rights, such as citizenship. They often develop not just multiple legal identities as a result, but also perceptions of self that become multilayered. This becomes even truer of their offspring; going by the third generation British-Pakistanis I see in London, while sympathetic towards Pakistan, they see themselves as profoundly British, with being Pakistani often a distant afterthought. Being British Muslim is often more important than being British Pakistani. Their knowledge of local Pakistani languages is generally always very poor or non-existent. Few of this lot, first or later generations, ever return to Pakistan.

Contrast this with what is still the majority of Pakistani origin people overseas, those in the Middle East, specifically the Gulf Arab states. Here, there is generally no change to ones legal identity (or even perceptions of self) no matter how long one has been in the host nation. Your stay is only as long as your employment contract, or the employment contract of your spouse/parent. This also applies to children born in these countries, even if they may have grown up knowing no other country. As a result, there is in any given year, a big "churn" of Pakistanis coming and going from these countries. Therefore, simply taking the absolute figure as indicative without taking into account the large number of Pakistanis continually in the process of returning from spells of employment in the Gulf would not be accurate.

Also, while the article indicates that the Pakistan Bureau of Emigration is concerned with only Pakistanis going abroad to work, I wonder if it has assumed that all non-student Pakistanis automatically imply Pakistanis going abroad to work, and whether it has considered family reunification. This is because many Pakistanis are not going abroad to work; a significant proportion of them are family members, often spouses, joining Pakistanis living abroad. This is especially true of the UK, where the UK government has expressed concern about communities in Northern England having a deeply entrenched practice of arranged marriage to Pakistanis from Mirpur in Azad Kashmir (the place of origin of the majority of British Pakistanis), because of how it enables entry to the UK and citizenship in a short period of time for people who often are not just unskilled but lack knowledge of English.

Given given that the practice of marriage is, at least in the first and second generations of people of Pakistani origin, still at times impacted by some element of familial arrangement, this is not an insignificant factor, and any analysis by the Pakistan Bureau of Emigration should also seek to provide figures for it.

But for me the first point is most important; understanding migrations patterns (and the resulting debate about a "brain drain") would be made more meaningful if some allowance is made for the number of Pakistanis returning, especially from the Gulf Arab states where most overseas Pakistanis are located. Such returnees, often with substantial financial capital and enhanced skill sets, could mitigate to some degree perceived concerns about a permanent loss of talent and skills.

Riaz Haq said...

Legal Permanent Residents (Green cards) from Pakistan in Q1 of FY19 (Oct-Dec 2018)

Status Adjustment (of Pakistanis already in US) 1,270

New Arrivals (Pakistanis) in US: 2,233

Total From Pakistan: 3,503

Total From Bangladesh: 4,622

Total From South Korea: 4,782

Total From Vietnam: 9.693

Total From Philippines: 11,161

Total From India: 13,799

Total From China: 15,582

Total From Asia: 90,686

https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/special-reports/legal-immigration#File_end

Riaz Haq said...

DEMOGRAPHIC SNAPSHOT OF SOUTH ASIANS IN THE UNITED STATES
April 2019

http://saalt.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/SAALT-Demographic-Snapshot-2019.pdf

Over 9.5% of green card recipients in FY 2017 were from South Asian countries: Bangladesh (14,693); Bhutan (2,940); India
(60,394); Nepal (11,610); Pakistan (17,408); and Sri Lanka (1,627).

The South Asian American community grew roughly 40% between 2010 and 2017. (See Table 1) The Nepali community
experienced the most significant growth, increasing by 206.6% followed by Indian, Bhutanese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and
Sri Lankan populations.
By 2065, it is projected that Asian Americans will be the largest immigrant population. The term immigrant refers to 2
individuals living in the United States but were not U.S. citizens at birth and necessarily all individuals who trace their
ancestry to a country outside of the United States. Bhutanese (92%) and Nepalese (88%) communities have the highest
foreign-born shares, followed by Sri Lankans (78%), Bangladeshis (74%), Indians (69%), and Pakistanis (67%)


Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) describes the total South Asian American population that is eligible to vote.30
Bangladeshi - 69,825
Bhutanese - 1,242
Indian - 1,558,594
Nepalese - 18,931
Pakistani - 222,252
Sri Lankan - 22,161

Changes in South Asian American Population, 2010 to 2017
Single Ethnicity Reported4 Multiple Ethnicities Reported5
2010 2017 Percent
Change
2010 2017 Percent
Change
Bangladeshi 142,080 176,229 24% 147,300 185,622 26%
Bhutanese 18,814 23,904 27% 19,439 26,845 38.1%
Indian 2,918,807 4,094,539 40.3% 3,183,063 4,402,362 38.3%
Maldivian 102 N/A N/A 127 N/A N/A
Nepali 57,209 171,709 200.1% 59,490 182,385 206.6%
Pakistani 382,994 499,099 30.3% 409,163 544,640 33.1%

Riaz Haq said...

17 million #Indian #emigrants abroad, up from 7 million in 1990, 143% increase. In this period, #India’s per capita #income increased by 522% ($1,134 to $7,055), providing more people the means to travel abroad in search of better #employment. #NRI #Modi https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/as-india-becomes-wealthier-17-mn-leave-the-country-to-settle-abroad-118112100113_1.html

At the same time, the number of unskilled migrants leaving the country has been falling: An estimated 391,000 left India in 2017, almost half the number in 2011 (637,000), according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

However this does not necessarily mean that an increasing proportion of India’s emigrants are likely to be higher skilled or that policymakers should be worried about a rise in ‘brain drain’--the exodus of highly trained professionals from their native country.

The above figures refer to unskilled migrants travelling on Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports--passports issued by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to those leaving for employment in certain countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Changes in the government criteria used to class workers as unskilled, leading to more migrants travelling on non-ECR passports, could be part of the reason for the declining trend.

“Over the years India has made internal adjustments to who gets an ECR passport. A lot of people are entitled to non-ECR passports and take that route to migrate instead--this is data which is not publicly available and therefore can not be analysed,” Seeta Sharma, Technical Officer (ILO) for EU-India Cooperation and Dialogue on Migration and Mobility, told IndiaSpend.

“It’s hard to say if more highly skilled people are leaving than in any other period and that ‘brain drain’ is increasing. Skills have increased across the board generally so the country may be losing higher skilled people compared to previous generations, but we’ve always had talent leaving the country to a large extent.”

International emigration generally rises with economic development as more people acquire the financial means to travel abroad, and only begins to reduce when countries reach upper-middle income status.

Labour demand driven by constrained local employment markets is a key motivation for international migration, with 73% of all migrants globally entering the workforce in their host country, the ADB report found.

India’s working age population is currently growing by 1.3 million each month, exacerbating a stagnant job market that is further afflicted by a lack of employment. As many as 20.8 million people applied for 90,000 available jobs with the Indian Railways, the country’s largest public-sector employer, the Times of India reported in March 2018.

Searching for a better life

Over almost three decades, between 1990-2017, India witnessed waves of skilled and unskilled labour emigration.

Indians living in the middle-eastern Arab state of Qatar increased 82,669%--from 2,738 to 2.2 million--over 27 years to 2017, more than in any other country.

In the two years between 2015-2017, the Indian population in Qatar more than tripled, rising by 250%.

Oman (688%) and the United Arab Emirates (622%) also feature in the top 10 countries for the largest increases in Indian residents between 1990-2017, while in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, over seven years to 2017, Indian populations rose by 110% and 78% respectively.

These figures reflect the response of Indian workers to rapidly expanding economies in the Gulf, buoyed by rising oil prices. As these oil-rich nations embarked on large-scale development projects, workers from India and other South Asian countries answered the call for the growing number of construction jobs needing to be filled.

Riaz Haq said...

#Qatar seeks operational workforce from #Pakistan for World Cup 2022. Pakistan would send retired military officers (#security), traffic control, #hospitality and #IT #professionals for #FIFA World Cup 2020. #remittances https://www.brecorder.com/2020/01/03/558549/qatar-seeks-operational-workforce-from-pakistan-for-world-cup-2022/

FIFA World Cup 2022, which is scheduled to be held in Qatar has shifted from construction and development stage to operational stage. “We sent workforce pertaining to development and construction skill, there is a bit of break of one, two months at the moment, after which we are sending workforce specialised in operational skills," said Bukhari, while talking to media.

The SAPM said that they would be sending retired military officers, traffic control, hospitality and IT professionals. “We are a top priority for Qatar's FIFA 2022 World Cup," he said.

Talking about employment opportunities for Pakistanis in Japan, the SAPM informed that Pakistan was among the first country to sign a MoU with Japan for manpower.

According to the data shared by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BEOE), in 2019, the overseas employment of Pakistanis witnessed a massive increase of 47 per cent as some 563,018 Pakistanis found jobs overseas while only 382,439 went abroad for different employment opportunities in 2018.

Manpower export to Saudi Arabia registered a marked growth of 191 per cent in 2019 as compared to the last year when only 100,910 Pakistanis went there. Moreover, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and Bahrain also imported a whooping number of Pakistanis in 2019. The UAE employed 195,241 Pakistani workforce, Oman 26,062, Qatar 17,413, Malaysia 10,390 and Bahrain 6,988 during the said year.

As per Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development ministry the total number of emigrants who got foreign employment in 2019 included 45.5 percent skilled, 39.72pc unskilled, 10.64pc semi skilled, 2.53pc highly qualified and 1.56pc highly skilled workforce.

Riaz Haq said...

Why do 30,000-40,000 #migrants from #Pakistan head to #Europe every year? Prof Andreas Schloenhardt: Pakistan has a strong #expat community abroad; many #Pakistanis have family abroad, so they hope to join their families. #migration https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/22133/why-do-migrants-from-pakistan-head-to-europe via @InfoMigrants

According to estimates by the Pakistani authorities, some 30,000 to 40,000 people from Pakistan attempt illegal passage to Europe via Iran and Turkey every year. InfoMigrants spoke to an expert to find out which factors lead to this trend.

InfoMigrants: What are the main causes that force people from Pakistan to undertake perilous journeys towards Europe?

Andreas Schloenhardt: The causes are complex and involve lots of factors from the Pakistani context; such as slow economic development, a fragile security situation, regularly occurring natural disasters and political instability. This leads to a scarcity of opportunities for higher education and skilled employment. In addition, Pakistan has a strong expat community abroad; many Pakistanis have family abroad, so they hope to join their families.

The majority of migrants heading to European countries tend to come from the Gujrat district in Pakistan’s western Punjab province. This trend has persisted for several decades now. How effective will legislation prove to be in limiting illegal migration from Pakistan?

In many parts of Pakistan, economic development and job opportunities are very limited and those are the main reasons for migration. Any laws or other measures to combat smuggling of migrants and close migration routes do nothing to address the main causes of migration and displacement. What is needed, are laws that manage and regulate emigration from Pakistan and entry into other countries, as well as mechanisms to facilitate the return of Pakistani nationals.

Pakistan has a labor migration policy that seeks to assist and protect Pakistani nationals seeking employment abroad (mostly in the Gulf region). This is however rarely matched by legislation in the receiving countries that control and manage incoming labor migrants. Much can be done on that front to push irregular migration into legal avenues.

Furthermore, many Pakistanis found to be in Europe unlawfully cannot just be returned to Pakistan as the country is slow at, and sometimes refuses to issue travel documents. Plus, quite a few countries don’t have any agreements with Pakistan to facilitate the return of migrants.

Smuggling of migrants is what they call a trans-national crime. Is anything being done at a trans-national level to combat this crime and to apprehend networks of smugglers who are spread across many regions and countries?

There are ample international initiatives to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants on the international level. Chief among them is the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants. Regrettably, the problem of migrant smuggling seems to be receiving less attention from European governments now than compared to three or four years ago; only a few states actively engage in forums to make the protocol function and enhance international cooperation.

Furthermore, too little is being done to stop the smuggling of migrants overall. The Global Compact on Migration that came into force a year ago also provides durable solutions to stop smuggling of migrants, along with other forms of irregular migration. But, once more, many states are slow to implement meaningful responses; many remain hostile to them. The responsibility and fault here squarely rests with individual states, not with international organizations that stand ready to assist individual states.

Stopping smuggling of migrants seems not to be a priority in Pakistan - a country struggling with political instability, terrorism and a weak economy. Is this correct?

Riaz Haq said...

Remittances to #Pakistan jump over 9% in January 2020 totaling $1.90 billion vs $1.744 billion in Jan 2019. #Remittances for July-January period of current FY $13.3 billion vs $12.77 billion in prior fiscal year, an increase of 4.1%. https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/remittances-to-pakistan-jump-over-9-per-cent-in-january

During January 2020, remittances received from Saudi Arabia fell 8.4 per cent to $433.4 million while Pakistani nationals in the UAE remitted $395.5 million, a decline of 7.5 per cent.

Remittances from the other major markets such as the USA and UK fell 6.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent to $335.1 million and $299.1 million, respectively.

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Moreover, the State Bank of Pakistan also hiked payment limits against freelance services for an individual in computer and information systems and other freelance services from $5,000 per month to $25,000 in order to attract more foreign exchange.

"The enhancement in limit will facilitate freelancers to route greater value of funds through a more economical and efficient channel of home remittances and help in receiving foreign exchange flows through formal banking channels in the country. This would also enable freelancers to expand their business/ operations and engage new freelancers to join the workforce," the central bank said in its statement.

---------------------

Moody's: Rising workers’ #remittances bode well for #Pakistan #economy. In 2012-19 period, remittances rose at a compounded annual rate of nearly 9%, with majority of inflows coming from #GCC (54%), #US (16pc), #UK (16pc) and #Malaysia (7%). https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/02/17/increase-in-workers-remittances-bodes-well-for-pakistan-moodys/ via @Profitpk

An increase in worker’s remittances is positive for Pakistani banks and borrowers, as it supports deposit flows and strengthens household finances, according to the credit rating agency Moody’s.

In a report published on Monday, the agency said that the high levels of remittances have contributed to reported double-digit growth in residents’ household deposits.

Earlier on 12 February, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) released updated monthly data on workers’ remittances, which showed a 4pc increase in the monthly average for the fiscal year 2020, compared to the previous corresponding year.

According to SBP data, workers’ remittances received during the first seven months of FY20 amounted to a cumulative total of $13.3 billion.

The agency noted that the growth [in remittances] has provided a stable and low-cost deposit base to Pakistani banks, which in turn has enhanced banks’ profitability and increased their liquidity buffers.

The report further stated that the growth might help mitigate the effect of government deposit outflows. The SBP is considering introducing a Treasury Single Account, which will require government deposits to be placed with the SBP instead.

Despite Pakistan’s high-interest rates (unchanged since July 2019 at 13.25pc), the remittances have helped negate any associated challenges. That’s because households are better positioned to meet their financial obligations with banks.

Non-performing loans have also been maintained at historically low levels; consumer NPLs accounted for 5pc of total consumer loans as of the end of September 2019, while the system average NPL ratio was 8.8pc.

According to the World Bank, Pakistan was the seventh-largest recipient of remittances globally in 2018, with remittances inflows reaching $21 billion or 6.8pc of the country’s GDP.

Riaz Haq said...

Global #remittance flows expected to plunge by more than $100 billion, hitting #India, #Pakistan, #Egypt, #Nigeria, and the #Philippines where remittances are crucial source of external financing. #COVID19 #lockdown #OilPrice #economy https://www.ft.com/content/471cb6b2-f354-4fe0-b36f-3078a506a2d8 via @financialtimes


Remittance flows around the world are expected to plummet by more than $100bn this year, depleting a vital source of financing for low and middle-income nations as they struggle with the economic chaos triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Bank.

In a report released on Wednesday, the bank said the impact of lockdowns that have closed economies across the globe and the resulting job losses would cause a 20 per cent decline in remittance flows to low and middle income countries compared with last year, from a record $554bn to $445bn.

It would be the largest fall in recent history, and those most vulnerable to the decline include fragile states such as Somalia, Haiti and South Sudan, and small island nations such as Tonga, with remittances accounting for more than a third of gross domestic product in some. Larger countries including India, Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, and the Philippines will also be hit as remittances have become a crucial source of external financing for them.

Dilip Ratha, the World Bank’s lead economist for migration and remittances, told the Financial Times that the fall would be a “major financial shock” to countries that depend on remittances.

“If we are expecting a fall of 20 per cent it’s going to be a huge shock, it’s going to cause a lot of hardship for countries in terms of macroeconomic management and balance of payments difficulties,” Mr Ratha said. “But more important is the human story . . . The number of people who are going to be impacted — both for the migrants in host countries and families back home it’s going to be huge.”


Last year, remittances overtook foreign direct investment to become the biggest source of capital inflows to low and middle-income countries for the first time; they accounted for about 8.9 per cent of GDP in poorer countries in 2019.

The World Bank estimates that in 2019 there were 272m international migrants — including 26m refugees — and more than 700m internal migrants around the world providing financial support to dependants elsewhere. But foreign workers are often the first to lose their jobs in times of crisis.


As global travel has been frozen, many are now in limbo, neither able to work nor to return to their home countries.

Some governments have introduced measures to support business to ensure they continue paying workers. But the World Bank said: “So far, government policy responses to the Covid-19 crisis have largely excluded migrants and their families back home.”

There have also been allegations that some Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have deported migrants during the crisis. Saudi officials deny they have forcibly repatriated workers and said Riyadh was co-operating with governments if migrants wanted to return. Doha said those it deported were involved in “illegal activities” and insisted it was adhering to international standards in its treatment of workers.

Lockdowns have also made it harder for migrants to send money back to their families as money-transfer offices have been forced to close; many poorer migrants do not have bank accounts and are not able to conduct online money transfers.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistani diaspora bails out #Pakistan #economy. Account surplus of $424m in July 2020 vs current account deficit (CAD) of $613 million in July 2019. Remittances from diaspora reached monthly record $2,768 million in July 2020 #ImranKhan #PTI #COVID19 https://www.dawn.com/news/1576206

According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) last week, the country received record-high remittances of $2.768 billion in the first month of the new fiscal year, following the record $23bn received during the outgoing financial year.

“This ($2.768bn) is the highest-ever level of remittances in a single month in Pakistan,” SBP had said.

“More good news for Pakistan economy,” Prime Minister Imran Khan had tweeted last week. “Remittances from overseas Pakistanis reached $2768 million in July 2020, highest ever amount in one month in the history of Pakistan.”

Separately, Planning Minister Asad Umar also lauded the current account surplus for July 2020 in a tweet today, recalling that the PTI government had "inherited" a deficit of $2 billion "as a legacy of PML-N", which was in power until 2018.

"Remember the current account deficits have led to massive external debt and compromises our independence and security," he added.

Earlier this month, while quoting data released by the Finance Ministry, Dawn had reported that since the PTI came to power, CAD had been brought down from $20bn to $3bn while exports were up despite Covid-19 demand stagnation while cost of borrowing had been brought down due to better debt management.

Riaz Haq said...

In the outgoing FY (2019-20), Pakistani expatriates remitted a record of $23.12 billion with more than 6% year-on-year (YoY) growth compared to $21.74 of FY 2018-19.


http://tribune.com.pk/article/97174/the-curious-case-of-pakistans-spiralling-remittances

The momentum has not only persisted but amplified in on-going FY 21 with a whopping $2.77 billion remittance in July, followed by an inflow of $2.095 billion in August. This unprecedented surge is bemusing, and what has baffled many is the fact that this escalation has occurred during the pandemic. So, what could the potential triggers to this mammoth inflow be?
The extraordinary leap can be primarily due to the tightening of informal money markets, which has augmented the inflow through formal banking channels. In the budget for FY 2020-21, the incumbents allocated Rs25 billion to formalise foreign remittances, which would aid in stockpiling foreign exchange reserves to service colossal national debt obligations.
Pakistanis typically used to carry cash in their luggage physically. But due to flight reduction and sparse international travels, they would have been compelled to access official banking channels for money transfers. Also, remittances might have incremented on account of significant job losses in the Gulf region due to the Covid-related recession. Hence the spiral may demonstrate high one-time repatriation of money back to Pakistan.
On the other hand, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has emphasised an orderly ‘market-based’ exchange rate management and sound policymaking under the Pakistan Remittance Initiative. The SBP sheds the spotlight on the reduction of the threshold for eligible transactions from $200 to $100 under the Reimbursement of Telegraphic Transfer (TT) Charges Scheme. It also stressed on adoption of digital channels and targeted marketing campaigns to promote formal routes. Similarly, IT-related freelance services’ payment limits have increased from $5,000 to $25,000 per individual per month. The SBP believes that it has facilitated to enhance home remittances through formal banking channels in Pakistan.
The crux of the matter is remittances will upslope further in the future due to effectuated compliance of formal banking channels. Still, the recent abnormal increment will ease down in the coming months when the western economies recuperate from the ramifications of the Covid-related slump.

Riaz Haq said...

Fitch has warned of decline in remittances amid the #Coronavirus shock. But #remittances have been robust in #Pakistan and Bangladesh. ADB says 14% of households in #Bangladesh, 8% in #Philippines, 4% in Pakistan and 2% in #India receive remittance income. https://www.fitchratings.com/research/sovereigns/apac-remittances-to-decline-amid-coronavirus-shock-08-09-2020

Fitch Ratings-Hong Kong-08 September 2020: The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent impact on the oil market are having a considerable effect on migrant workers and are likely to supress remittance flows in the APAC region, Fitch Ratings says in a special report. We expect flows to weaken in the coming quarters, even though recent amounts have been surprisingly robust in some countries due to temporary factors. Declining remittances in economies that are dependent on them may affect sovereign ratings through pressures on external finances and economic growth.

Demand for migrant labour has provided an important and stable source of foreign-currency remittance flows for a number of APAC sovereigns, including Bangladesh (6.0% of GDP), Pakistan (7.9%), Sri Lanka (8.0%) and the Philippines (8.4%). India is the largest recipient of remittances globally but they account for a small share of GDP at 2.9%. Remittance flows have helped keep current account deficits contained by offsetting large trade deficits. Indeed, without remittances the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh would all have large current account deficits of between 7%-10% of GDP.

Remittances in APAC also provide economic benefits to recipient countries. First, they support domestic consumption by providing an additional income source to households. According to the Asian Development Bank, about 14% of households in Bangladesh receive remittance income, 8% in the Philippines, 4% in Pakistan and 2% in India. Second, job opportunities for migrant workers relieve slack in domestic job markets.

Remittance flows in APAC were surprisingly mixed in the second quarter of 2020. Monthly data show a considerable and broad decline in remittances during April and May, as Fitch expected, but a recovery in June and July. The rebound in flows was particularly robust in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where flows broke records in both June and July. Sri Lanka and the Philippines also saw an improvement in remittance flows in June, but much more modest.

Anecdotal evidence points to temporary factors for the increase in recorded remittances in the recent period. These include migrant workers transferring their savings in preparation to return home, the impact of lockdown restrictions on transferring funds and a shift to formal remittance channels, which are picked up in the official data.
Fitch forecasts a 12% decline across the region in the second half of the year as the temporary support factors fade.

The deterioration in remittance inflows is likely to widen current account deficits, contributing to higher external financing needs. For countries with fragile external finances, such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the shock to remittances could exacerbate existing challenges. Lower oil prices and subdued import demand, however, are likely to soften the aggregate impact on external balances.

Remittances typically provide a countercyclical buffer for economic activity and vulnerable households. In domestic economic shocks, family members working abroad can increase remittances to help mitigate the impact of sluggish domestic activity. The pandemic, however, represents a much more synchronised global economic shock than previous downturns. This limits the potential support of the remittance channel.

Lower remittance flows could affect public finances through two channels: lower revenue collection from weaker consumption and higher social spending to support remittance-dependent households as well as returning migrant workers. Many countries in the region already have limited fiscal space to address the current coronavirus shock and the decline in remittances could exacerbate current challenges.

Riaz Haq said...



Migrant workers from Asia’s developing countries have managed to send home record amounts of money in recent months, defying pandemic expectations and propping up home economies at a critical time.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/forex-and-remittance/remittance-boom-is-turning-into-a-bust-for-emerging-markets-in-asia/articleshow/78251096.cms


Remittance doomsayers see something else in the bigger-than-usual transfers: a coming crash, triggered by a bleak job market, particularly in the Middle East. As they see opportunity drying up along with demand for oil, workers are sending money home in advance of their own return.

Unlike Latin American countries, which continue to benefit from a tentative U.S. recovery, Asian countries are vulnerable to economic austerity in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East. More than 60% of remittances to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan come from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, said Khurram Schehzad, chief executive officer at Karachi-based advisory Alpha Beta Core Solutions Pvt. The region is also the top destination for workers from the Philippines, lone of the world’s largest suppliers of overseas labor.

Saudi Arabia has already raised taxes and import fees to make up for falling oil revenue. Job cuts in the kingdom appear to target foreigners first, with Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment estimating more than a million foreign workers will leave the labor market this year.

After eight years of sending money to family in Karachi, Abdul Hanan Abro is one of the workers who will follow his money home. He was laid off from his acc ..He was laid off from his accounting job in Dubai in May and hasn’t found a new gig -- and he’s not the only one. “No one is getting anything,” said Abro. “Two to three of my friends have already moved back to Lahore. People are selling their cars and stuff, doing their final settlements.”

For Abro, coming home means starting over. He wants to use the savings he accumulated overseas to start a business. “It’s high time to just focus on what I was planning for two to three years now,” Abr ..coming home means starting over. He wants to use the savings he accumulated overseas to start a business. “It’s high time to just focus on what I was planning for two to three years now,” Abro said. “It’s better than wasting more time in finding a job in this market.”

In April, the World Bank predicted overseas workers would send home 20% less this year, the biggest drop since at least 1980. The lender hasn’t updated its forecast to reflect the recent resilience, but a decline is still ..

“People are returning home,” said Thomas Isaac, the finance minister for Kerala, which accounts for the country’s largest share of remittances. “Therefore, they bring back all their savings.” India is the world’s top recipient of transfers and a leading supplier of labor to the gulf; it took in $83 billion last year, exceeding the $51 billion it took in as foreign direct investment.

Overall, remittances to the Asia-Pacific region will drop 12% in the second half of 2020 compared with th ..

Kerala’s proud record for near-total literacy gave its citizens a leg-up over other Indians — not to mention Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and others — seeking jobs in the Gulf. Despite their better education, the overwhelming majority of Keralites did jobs that indeed required being “roasted in the desert sun,” as Dad put it. In the classic migration pattern, young men endured great physical hardship and forewent luxuries to save up, remit money home and bring over friends and relatives. The steady ..

Riaz Haq said...

#Japan to boost efforts to recruit #Pakistan tech workers. Amb Matsuda said in Tokyo there are 300,000 well-trained information technology engineers in Pakistan, both countries will assign officials in embassies to facilitate #tech labor.- The Mainichi

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201008/p2g/00m/0bu/106000c

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan and Pakistan plan to intensify coordination so Japan can accept technology workers from the South Asian country amid a chronic shortage of workers skilled in information technology, according to the Japanese ambassador to Pakistan.

Kuninori Matsuda, in a recent interview in Tokyo, said there are 300,000 well-trained information technology engineers in Pakistan, and that the two countries will each assign officials in their embassies to facilitate the movement of tech labor.

The ambassador said Pakistan will soon post a diplomat in its embassy in Tokyo to handle tech labor, while the Japanese Embassy in Islamabad will increase staff to connect Japanese companies interested in hiring tech workers with Pakistanis who want to work in Japan. The embassy will also help with visa-related work.

"There's a huge need for them, mainly among small and midsize companies that, despite their willingness to embrace IT, are finding it hard to source workers," Matsuda said.

Following the recent launch of a new government led by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Pakistan is looking forward to continuing to make progress with Japan in "dialogue and cooperation in a wide array of areas," the ambassador said.

-----------------

“We are about to open working visa for skilled Pakistan workers. We are planning to hire Pakistani skilled workers in good numbers. We need skilled workers, as our population is shrinking by each passing day. We are to sign an MOU with the Pakistan government in a month’s time, enabling the Pakistan skilled workers to have indefinite visa of Japan,” the ambassador said.

Kuninori said Pakistan was one of the 10 top countries from where Japan was planning to hire workers. ”We need skilled workers from Pakistan, as Pakistanis working there in Japan arevery devoted, honest and skilled and are contributing to the country’s development.”

The ambassador however said that for skilled people there was need to learn Japanese language. “Knowing Japanese language would be a must. It is one of the easiest languages around and easy to get used to.”

He said those who successfully get the visa and pass their first five years in Japan, would be eligible to take along their families with them. A high level exchanges by a prime minister and president would soon be materliased.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/543135-new-work-visas-pakistan-among-top-10-countries-for-japan-hiring

Riaz Haq said...

October #remittances to #Pakistan grow 14% to $2.3 billion, the 5th consecutive month above $2 billion. Remittances up 26.5% to $9.4 billion during the first 4 months of FY21, compared with July-Oct FY20. #economy #ImranKhan #PTI- Profit by Pakistan Today https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/11/12/october-remittances-grow-14pc-to-2-3bn/#.X63Oa81wOr8.twitter

Workers’ remittances amounted to $2.3 billion during October 2020, showing an increase of 14.1 per cent when compared with October 2019.

This is for the fifth consecutive month that workers’ remittances remained above $2 billion, according to latest figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

A large part of the year-on-year (YoY) increase in October this year, 30pc, was sourced from Saudi Arabia, 16pc from the United States of America and 14.6pc from the United Kingdom (UK).

“Improvements in Pakistan’s FX market structure and its dynamics, efforts under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) to formalise the flows and limited cross-border travelling contributed to the growth in remittances,” the SBP stated.

Meanwhile, on a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances rose 26.5pc to $9.4bn during the first four months of FY21, when compared with July-Oct FY20.

“These numbers were expected. The whole South Asia region is getting above-average inward remittances due to lockdown and reduction in flights and movement of unofficial funds,” said Muhammad Sohail of Topline Securities.

“In the short-run, this [the increase in remittances] will support local currency,” he added.

Earlier, a World Bank report had projected that remittances to Pakistan to grow at about 9pc in 2020, totalling about $24bn.

The World Bank attributed this increase to the diversion of remittances from informal to formal channels due to the difficulty of carrying money by hand under travel restrictions.

Riaz Haq said...

'No ban on export of Pakistan workforce' to UAE, says Zulfi Bukhari

https://www.dawn.com/news/1592537/no-ban-on-export-of-pakistan-workforce-to-uae-says-zulfi-bukhari

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari on Thursday denied media reports of the United Arab Emirates' move to suspend the issuance of work visas to Pakistanis, saying that there was "no ban on export of Pakistani workforce".

In a two-part tweet, Bukhari said that "contrary to media reports", UAE Minister for Human Resources and Emiratisation Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli had "categorically stated that there is no ban on export of Pakistani workforce". Furthermore, the UAE was giving priority to those workers, who were registered on the Virtual Labour Market Database and had been laid off due to the economic slump caused by Covid-19, Bukhari tweeted.

The tweets come a day after media reports that the UAE had temporarily stopped issuing new visas to citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan and several mostly Muslim majority countries over security concerns.

On Thursday, the premier's aide added that there has been an 11 per cent increase Pakistani knowledge workers in the UAE. The Arab state was also encouraging applications for the 10-year golden visa, Bukhari said.

"Looking forward to continued collaboration with UAE leadership to address the issues of our diaspora," the special assistant to the prime minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development said in his tweet.

The ruling PTI also tweeted about SAPM Bukhari's virtual meeting with the UAE minister, saying that the premier's aide wanted to "dispel the negative reports on ban on Pakistani workers".

Suspension of visas
The tweets come days after reports emerged that the UAE had temporarily stopped issuing visas to citizens of a dozen countries, including those of Pakistan. The Foreign Office had confirmed the development last week, saying that UAE's decision was "believed to be related to the second wave of Covid-19".

"We are seeking official confirmation from the concerned UAE authorities in this regard," FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri had said, adding that the suspension was expected to last for a short time period.

However, yesterday media outlets reported that the visa issuance was stopped due to security concerns. The 13 countries, which would not be issued a visa for the time being, include Pakistan, Afghanistan and several mostly Muslim majority countries.

In a press briefing earlier today, FO spokesperson Chaudhri said that the change in UAE's visa policy has not been confirmed.

According to a document issued by a state-owned business park, UAE has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 countries, including Iran, Syria and Somalia.

The document, which was sent to companies operating in the park, cited an immigration circular that came into effect on November 18.

It said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals, who are outside the UAE, of the 13 countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, until further notice.

The visa ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey, the document says.

It was not clear if there were any exceptions to the ban.

Riaz Haq said...

A Migrant’s Journey for Better Opportunities: The Case of Pakistan



http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/540841530861637430/pdf/Pakistan-International-Mobility-Draft-06.pdf



The number of Pakistani labor migrants seeking opportunities abroad significantly increased from some 200,000 departures in 2006 to over 900,000 in 2015, then plummeted to less than 500,000 in 2017 (figure 1.1). Given that Pakistan’s labor force grew by approximately 4 million individuals per year over the same period, the flow of out-migrants is quite significant. And the number would be even higher if irregular migrants were incorporated: the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC 2012) estimates that up to 300,000 people have been leaving Pakistan each year though irregular channels. The decision to migrate is determined by various push and pull factors: push factors include dire economic conditions and labor market challenges in the domestic market, 1 while the primary pull factors are growing labor demand in key destination countries and a large income differential between Pakistan and overseas markets (figure 1.2).2 As seen between 2015 and 2017, the number of outgoing migrants can significantly fluctuate depending on destination countries’ labor demand and economic conditions.



Remittances sent home by the migrants play an important role in reducing poverty in Pakistan overall, and particularly in supporting households in conflict-affected areas. Estimating the exact volume of remittances is difficult given the prevalence of informal channels for funds transfers and somewhat unclear definitions of migrants.3 Nonetheless, in 2015–16, remittances were reported to be US$19.9

Riaz Haq said...

#Remittances from Overseas #Pakistanis remain above $2 billion. In aggregate, remittances rose to an unprecedented $11.8 billion during the 5-month period Jul-Nov FY21, 26.9% higher than the same period last year.- Business & Finance - Business Recorder
https://www.brecorder.com/news/40040135/trend-continues-remittances-from-overseas-pakistanis-remain-above-2bn

Continuing with the trend, remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis remain above $2 billion mark for the 6th consecutive month.

As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), workers’ remittances maintained their strong momentum in November, remaining above $2 billion for a record sixth consecutive month. They rose to $2.34 billion, showing an increase of 2.4 percent over the previous month, while compared to the same period last year increased by 28pc.

As per the central bank data during the first five months of FY21, workers’ remittances have reached an unprecedented level of US$ 11.77 billion, 26.9 percent higher than the same period last year.

On average, workers’ remittances have been about half a billion (US$ 499 million) higher in each month of FY21 as compared to the same period last year.

Remittance inflows during the first five months of FY21 have mainly been sourced from Saudi Arabia ($ 3.3 billion), United Arab Emirates ($ 2.4 billion), United Kingdom ($ 1.6 billion) and United States ($ 1.0 billion).

SBP was of the view that this significant growth reflects continued government and SBP efforts to formalize remittances under Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI), growing use of digital channels amid limited international travel, orderly exchange market conditions and improved global economic activity.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan's workers' remittances have managed to post strong growth, back in October home remittances sent by overseas Pakistan amounted to $ 2.3 billion, increasing by 14.1pc compared to October 2019.

Since June the country is receiving over $2 billion in home remittances monthly. In June, remittances amounted to $2.47 billion were arrived, while the country received highest-ever workers' remittances $2.76 billion in July.

Riaz Haq said...

Nigeria, Pakistan, Canada Profit Most From Migrant Workers. #US, #Canada and #Australia are the biggest winners from inbound immigration, and #Nigeria, #Pakistan, #Bangladesh and #Vietnam benefit most from foreign workers’ #remittances. #migration #workers https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-11/nigeria-pakistan-canada-profit-most-from-migrant-workers-map

Immigration is at an inflection point, with rich nations concerned about the economic and social consequences of increased arrivals while poorer countries are reliant on the cash flows provided by their expatriates. For the global economy the path chosen will be an important determinant of growth potential. Bloomberg Economics calculations show that the U.S., Canada and Australia are the biggest winners from inbound immigration, and Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam benefit most from foreign workers’ remittances.


Riaz Haq said...

Remittances to #Pakistan from overseas #Pakistanis jump 34% to $2.5 billion in May 2021. #Remittances climbed to an all-time high in 11 months of this fiscal year. Remittances surged 29.4% to $26.7 billion in July-May FY2021. #economy #diaspora

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/847709-remittances-rise-34pc-to-2-5bln-in-may


Remittances by overseas Pakistanis increased 34 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in May, staying above the $2 billion mark for a year, the central bank’s data showed on Thursday.

However, the remittances fell 10.4 percent in May from April “This fall was expected as remittances usually slow in the post Eid-ul-Fitr period,” the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in a statement. As Eid fell in mid-May with markets closed a week earlier, there was some front-loading of remittances in April, it said. The usual post-Eid monthly dip was much smaller this year.

The seasonal decline in May less than half the average decline observed during FY2016-2019. In FY2020, remittances experienced an exceptional rise due to the easing of COVID lockdowns in the post-Eid period in Gulf countries, said the SBP.

Remittances climbed to an all-time high in 11 months of this fiscal year. Remittances surged 29.4 percent to $26.7 billion in July-May FY2021. These inflows during the first eleven months of FY2021 have already crossed the full FY2020 level by $3.6 billion.

Most remittance inflows came from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). Remittances sourced from Saudi Arabia rose 19.5 percent to $7 billion in July-May FY2021.

From UAE, remittances increased 9.7 percent $5.6 billion. Pakistan received $3.7 billion in remittances from the UK in 11 months compared with $2.2 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.

Remittances from the U.S. increased 58 percent to $2.5 billion.

Record high inflows of workers’ remittances were driven by policy measures by the government and SBP to incentivise the use of formal channels, curtailed cross-border travel in the face of COVID-19, altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic, and orderly foreign exchange market conditions, the SBP said.

Global air travel was far below the comparable 2019 levels, and therefore emigrants are likely to have continued to utilize the banking channels to support their families back home. Within Pakistan, policy measures undertaken by the government and the SBP to encourage inflows through formal means also contributed to the growth in remittances. Furthermore, continued policy support in the host destinations (especially the advanced economies) via unemployment benefits, rent and loan deferrals, and direct cash handouts, likely increased the ability of migrants to remit higher amounts back home. Also, the efforts by global money transfer operators and governments to incentivize migrants to adopt digital channels to remit funds have likely also played a role in pushing up inflows received via the banking system.

In Pakistan also, banks are being incentivised to introduce digital products to facilitate migrants in sending remittances under the Pakistan Remittance Initiative. Data shows that transaction volumes and amounts of international remittance transactions in Pakistan via the branchless banking mode (m-wallets) have grown quite strongly since the Covid-19 outbreak. Remittance flows are expected to remain strong on the back of continued surge in inflows across all the major corridors and the welcome turnaround in the trend of Pakistanis going abroad for work.

Riaz Haq said...

The number of international migrants reaches 272 million, continuing an upward trend in all world regions, says UN
17 September 2019, New York

https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/international-migrant-stock-2019.html

Increase in global number of international migrants continues to outpace growth of the world’s population

The number of international migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million in 2019, an increase of 51 million since 2010. Currently, international migrants comprise 3.5 per cent of the global population, compared to 2.8 per cent in the year 2000, according to new estimates released by the United Nations today.

The International Migrant Stock 2019, a dataset released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) today, provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by age, sex and origin for all countries and areas of the world. The estimates are based on official national statistics on the foreign-born or the foreign population obtained from population censuses, population registers or nationally representative surveys.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for DESA, said that “These data are critical for understanding the important role of migrants and migration in the development of both countries of origin and destination. Facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people will contribute much to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2019, regionally, Europe hosts the largest number of international migrants (82 million), followed by Northern America (59 million) and Northern Africa and Western Asia (49 million).

At the country level, about half of all international migrants reside in just 10 countries, with the United States of America hosting the largest number of international migrants (51 million), equal to about 19 per cent of the world’s total. Germany and Saudi Arabia host the second and third largest numbers of migrants (13 million each), followed by the Russian Federation (12 million), the United Kingdom (10 million), the United Arab Emirates (9 million), France, Canada and Australia (around 8 million each) and Italy (6 million).

Concerning their place of birth, one-third of all international migrants originate from only ten countries, with India as the lead country of origin, accounting for about 18 million persons living abroad. Migrants from Mexico constituted the second largest “diaspora” (12 million), followed by China (11 million), the Russian Federation (10 million) and the Syrian Arab Republic (8 million).

The share of international migrants in total population varies considerably across geographic regions with the highest proportions recorded in Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand) (21.2%) and Northern America (16.0%) and the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean (1.8%), Central and Southern Asia (1.0%) and Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (0.8%).

Riaz Haq said...

The number of international migrants reaches 272 million, continuing an upward trend in all world regions, says UN
17 September 2019, New York

https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/international-migrant-stock-2019.html


Most international migrants move between countries located within the same region. A majority of international migrants in sub-Saharan Africa (89%), Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (83%), Latin America and the Caribbean (73%), and Central and Southern Asia (63 %) originated from the region in which they reside. By contrast, most of the international migrants that lived in Northern America (98%), Oceania (88%) and Northern Africa and Western Asia (59%) were born outside their region of residence.

Forced displacements across international borders continues to rise. Between 2010 and 2017, the global number of refugees and asylum seekers increased by about 13 million, accounting for close to a quarter of the increase in the number of all international migrants. Northern Africa and Western Asia hosted around 46 per cent of the global number of refugees and asylum seekers, followed by sub-Saharan Africa (21%).

Turning to the gender composition, women comprise slightly less than half of all international migrants in 2019. The share of women and girls in the global number of international migrants fell slightly, from 49 per cent in 2000 to 48 per cent in 2019. The share of migrant women was highest in Northern America (52%) and Europe (51%), and lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (47%) and Northern Africa and Western Asia (36%).

In terms of age, one out of every seven international migrants is below the age of 20 years. In 2019, the dataset showed that 38 million international migrants, equivalent to 14 per cent of global migrant population, were under 20 years of age. Sub-Saharan Africa hosted the highest proportion of young persons among all international migrants (27%), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern Africa and Western Asia (about 22% each).

Three out of every four international migrants are of working age (20-64 years). In 2019, 202 million international migrants, equivalent to 74 per cent of the global migrant population, were between the ages of 20 and 64. More than three quarters of international migrants were of working age in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, Europe and Northern America.

Riaz Haq said...

COVID-19 has disrupted all forms of human mobility through the closing of national borders and halting of travel worldwide. Preliminary estimates suggest that the pandemic may have slowed the growth in the stock of international migrants by around two million by mid-2020, 27 per cent less than the growth expected since mid-2019, according to a report by the United Nations released today.

https://www.un.org/en/desa/international-migration-2020-highlights


Growth in the number of international migrants has been robust over the last two decades, reaching 281 million people living outside their country of origin in 2020, up from 173 million in 2000 and 221 million in 2010. Currently, international migrants represent about 3.6 per cent of the world’s population.

The report, International Migration 2020 Highlights, by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by country of destination, origin, age and sex for all countries and areas of the world.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said “The report affirms that migration is a part of today’s globalized world and shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the livelihoods of millions of migrants and their families and undermined progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The report found that two thirds of all international migrants live in just 20 countries. The United States of America remained the largest destination, hosting 51 million international migrants in 2020, equal to 18 per cent of the world’s total. Germany hosted the second largest number of migrants worldwide, at around 16 million, followed by Saudi Arabia (13 million), the Russian Federation (12 million) and the United Kingdom (9 million).

India topped the list of countries with the largest diasporas in 2020, with 18 million persons from India living outside of their country of birth. Other countries with a large transnational community included Mexico and the Russian Federation (11 million each), China (10 million) and Syria (8 million).

Diasporas contribute to the development of their countries of origin through the promotion of foreign investment, trade, access to technology and financial inclusion. However, according to projections by the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic may reduce the volume of remittances sent to low-and middle-income countries from USD 548 billion in 2019 to USD 470 billion in 2021, a decline of USD 78 billion or 14 per cent. The loss has affected the livelihoods of millions of migrants and their families, stalling progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. National strategies and international cooperation will be needed to mitigate the effects of this loss.

Among the major regions of the world, the largest number of international migrants in 2020 resided in Europe, with a total of 87 million. Northern America hosted the second largest number of migrants, with almost 59 million. Northern Africa and Western Asia followed with a total of nearly 50 million.

In 2020, nearly half of all international migrants resided in the region from which they originated, with Europe accounting for the largest share of intra-regional migration: 70 per cent of migrants born in Europe reside in another European country. The share of intra-regional migration among migrants originating in sub‑Saharan Africa was 63 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, Central and South Asia had the largest share of its diaspora residing outside the region, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern America.

Riaz Haq said...

COVID-19 has disrupted all forms of human mobility through the closing of national borders and halting of travel worldwide. Preliminary estimates suggest that the pandemic may have slowed the growth in the stock of international migrants by around two million by mid-2020, 27 per cent less than the growth expected since mid-2019, according to a report by the United Nations released today.

https://www.un.org/en/desa/international-migration-2020-highlights


In 2020, nearly half of all international migrants resided in the region from which they originated, with Europe accounting for the largest share of intra-regional migration: 70 per cent of migrants born in Europe reside in another European country. The share of intra-regional migration among migrants originating in sub‑Saharan Africa was 63 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, Central and South Asia had the largest share of its diaspora residing outside the region, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern America.

Nearly two thirds of all international migrants live in high-income countries, in contrast with just 31 per cent in middle-income countries and around 4 per cent in low-income countries. On the other hand, low- and middle-income countries hosted 80 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2020. Refugees comprise around three per cent of all international migrants in high-income countries, compared to 25 per cent in middle-income countries and 50 per cent in low-income countries.

In 2020, refugees accounted for 12 per cent of all international migrants, up from 9.5 per cent in 2000, as forced displacements across national borders continued to rise faster than voluntary migration. Between 2000 and 2020, the number that had fled conflict, crises, persecution, violence or human rights violations doubled from 17 to 34 million.

Migrant women are catalysts of change, promoting positive social, cultural and political norms within their homes and throughout their communities. Nearly half of all international migrants worldwide were women or girls. In 2020, the number of female migrants slightly exceeded male migrants in Europe, Northern America and Oceania, partially due to a higher life expectancy of women over men. In sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia, males tend to significantly exceed the number of females, which is attributed to temporary labour migration.

International migrants often make up a larger proportion of working-age persons compared to the national population. In 2020, 73 per cent of all international migrants were between the ages of 20 and 64 years, compared to 57 per cent for the total population. In the absence of international migrants, the ratio of persons aged 65 years or above per 100 persons aged 20 to 64 years, or old-age dependency ratio, in high-income countries would have been nearly 3 percentage points higher in 2020.

With the adoption of landmark agreements by the General Assembly, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, countries have begun to adopt measures to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration. Globally, 54 per cent of the 111 Governments that responded to a recent survey reported having such policies.

File date:
Friday, January 15, 2021

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan beat India, Bangladesh in manpower export in 2020: ministry

https://www.dawn.com/news/1629344

https://twitter.com/mophrd/status/1404354147978260480?s=20


Beating other regional players like Bangladesh and India in manpower export, Pakistan has emerged as the ‘Manpower Export Leader’ in the region by sending around 224,705 workers to different countries for various job assignments in 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Bangladesh sent 217,699 workers abroad and India 94,145 for employment purposes during the same period, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and HR Development said in a tweet.

Adding to the tweet, it said, “Pakistan becomes a ‘Manpower Export Leader’ in the region despite the pandemic, leaving behind India and Bangladesh in the export of manpower in 2020.”

According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, launched by the government last week, over 11.4 million Pakistanis have gone abroad for employment in more than 50 countries.

It said the migration of Pakistani workers was mostly concentrated to Gulf Cooperation Council countries (96 per cent), with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates hosting the majority.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, overall, a declining trend was observed in terms of emigrants registered in 2020, including GCC countries, it mentioned, adding that Saudi Arabia was the main destination for the Pakistani workforce where more than 60pc of emigrants went followed by UAE (24pc) and Oman (4.6pc).

Out of the total, 136,339 people went to Saudi Arabia, 53,676 to the UAE, 10,336 to Oman, and many other countries during 2020.

The survey said the ministry was striving to boost the export of Pakistani manpower by exploring new job markets in the world.

Remittances exceed $2bn for 12th straight month
Meanwhile, remittances from Pakistani workers employed abroad exceeded $2 billion for the 12th month in a row in May 2021, with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) crediting "proactive policy measures by the Government and the State Bank of Pakistan encouraging expats to use formal channels for their transactions" for the record inflows.

According to the central bank, "Remittances received during May 2021 amounted to $2.5bn, which is 33.5pc higher than the same month last year. These were also higher than the monthly average of $2.4bn during July-April in the fiscal year 2020-21."

It further said the remittance inflows during July-May FY21 were mainly sourced from Saudi Arabia ($7bn), United Arab Emirates ($5.6bn), United Kingdom ($3.7bn) and the United States ($2.5bn).

Riaz Haq said...

Govt set to launch Kamyab Pakistan Programme this month

https://www.dawn.com/news/1633071

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said: “We have finalised every aspect of this programme, and it would be launched in mid-July.” — PID/File
• 4m households to be supported
• Minister says around Rs400bn worth of interest-free loans to be offered

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided in principle to launch ‘Kamyab Pakistan Progra­mme’ this month under which four million households would be assisted in various schemes.

The programme appears to be one of the major initiatives taken by the government for the poor segment of society ahead of next elections.

Talking to Dawn on Saturday, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said: “We have finalised every aspect of this programme, and it would be launched in mid-July.”


Detailing some of the features of the programme, he said it aimed at providing support to people in housing projects, skill development, health cards and interest-free loans for businesses and agri-services.

However, he made it clear that the targets would be achieved over a period of time and not in one year.

The minister said approximately Rs300 billion to Rs400bn interest-free loans would be given in the current fiscal year 2021-22, adding that the amount had also been budgeted to provide subsidy against interest-free loans.

The minister said ‘Kamyab Jawan’ would be a part of this programme.

About broadening of tax base, Mr Tarin said a strategy was being devised to bring 7.2 million people under the tax net. The strategy will be finalised soon, however, no taxpayer would be harassed, he added.

He said the point of sales programme would be extended to maximum traders in the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin stressed the importance of long-term planning to achieve sustainable and all-inclusive economic growth.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had reconstituted the EAC after decades with an objective to draw up concrete proposals for sustainable economic growth through comprehensive and seamless planning and by taking all stakeholders on board.

During the third meeting of the EAC, four sub-groups gave their presentations on State-Owned Enterprises and Privatisation, Energy, Domestic Commerce and Price Stability.

Special Assistant on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood Khan gave a detailed presentation on price stability which included short-term, medium-term and long-term proposals to bring price stability in the country.

He drew a comparative analysis between prices prevailing in Pakistan and those in the entire region – both in current and historical perspectives.

Zaid Bashir, in his presentation on ‘Domestic Commerce Sector’, underlined the need to enrich and revive documented/integrated sectors and fully realise the true potential of e-commerce during the short term by bringing retailers into a more organised environment, ultimately benefitting the national exchequer.

Tax credit on enlistment of companies and to incentivise the induction of women in workforce were suggested as part of medium-term plans whereas financing facility for growth of the retailers and tax adjustability were suggested as part of a long-term strategy to promote domestic commerce sector.

In his presentation on energy (power) sector, Farooq Rehmatullah highlighted global, regional and local trends in the refining sectors.

The presentation also included recommendations for bringing in sustainable solutions to streamline operations from oil downstream to marketing sectors.

Mr Rehmatullah gave suggestions to deal with challenges faced by the LPG, exploration and production sectors and to explore renewable energy resources in Pakistan.

Sultan Ali Allana, meanwhile, spoke on ‘State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)’ while the privatisation secretary, Hassan Nasir Jamy, updated the EAC on privatisation.


Riaz Haq said...

The New Population Bomb

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/The-Big-Story/The-new-population-bomb

"A few years ago, we would get three times more recruits than we could accept," observed an employee with a staffing company in Vietnam that recruits workers for Japan's Technical Intern Training Program. "These days, we can barely get twice as many. Within five years, the number of people working away from home may start to drop."

Many Asian economies have experienced this phenomenon already, known in economics as the Lewis turning point, after British economist W. Arthur Lewis. Workers migrate from rural areas to cities, supporting economic growth by working for low wages. Eventually, growth stops because of rising wages and a shrinking labor force.

The answer, in many cases has been immigrants, which have contributed to growth in developed countries after population growth slowed. According to the U.N., there were 281 million international migrants in 2020, 1.6 times more than roughly 20 years earlier.

Border restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how dependent some countries have become on foreign workers.



Without immigration, many advanced economies already cannot sustain their labor pool. In the U.K. after Brexit, the combination of immigration restrictions and the pandemic has led to a severe labor shortage. Before the pandemic, 12% of heavy truck drivers were from the European Union. However, drivers can no longer be hired from outside the country under the U.K.'s new standards. According to the British Road Haulage Association, the country faces a shortage of more than 100,000 commercial heavy truck drivers. Logistics companies are becoming desperate, raising hourly wages by 30%.

The lack of immigration may not be a temporary phenomenon. The countries with the most outbound immigrants are seeing their young populations decline. The number of Indians between the ages of 15 and 29 will peak in 2025. In China that cohort will drop by about 20% in the next 30 years.

The Philippines, one of the biggest labor-exporting countries in the world, where about 10% of the population is thought to work abroad, is also showing signs of reversing course to focus on domestic production. The country is increasing the amount of domestic contract work, such as call centers. The incoming amount of overseas remittances grew by over 7% year-on-year in the first half of the 2010s, but that slowed to 3% in 2018.

Some countries have already started trying to secure workers. Germany increased its acceptance of non-EU workers in 2020. In 2019, Australia increased the maximum length of working holidays from two years to three, on the condition that people work for a set period of time in sectors where there is a labor shortage, such as agriculture. Japan also is bringing in more foreign workers through the "specified skilled worker" system.

Economic forces may drive a new competition among nations for immigrants. One key is to become a "country of choice." "A policy of actively accepting immigrants means it is important to expand the options for foreign workers to settle and live in a country permanently," said Keizo Yamawaki, a professor at Meiji University in Tokyo who specializes in immigration policy.

Riaz Haq said...

Landmark UW study projects dramatic plunge in global population. ... The study projects that world population will likely peak in 2064 at around 9.7 billion, and then decline to about 8.8 billion by 2100 - about 2 billion lower than some previous estimates


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Study Forecasts World Population to Peak in 2064

If you feel like the world is getting busier, it’s not just you- the planet’s population has been rising for as many years as we’ve been keeping track.

The United Nations projected that the world’s population could reach 11 billion people by 2100, a figure that was not called into question until a new report from the University of Washington was published this year.

The report detailed how access to education and contraceptives lowered reproductive rates in places where women were given access to both. On average, women with higher levels of education and access to contraceptives had less than 1.5 children.

If women’s rights continue to expand around the globe, the University of Washington report estimated that the global population would peak in 2064 at 9.7 billion before declining to 8.8 billion in 2100.

By 2100, the study predicts that India (1093 million), Nigeria (709 million), China (732 million), USA (335 million), and Pakistan (248 million) will be the top five most populated countries. Source: Vollset et al., 2020.


https://www.geographyrealm.com/study-forecasts-world-population-to-peak-in-2064/