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REMITTANCES TO OMAN PROJECTED TO BE AROUND $41MN THIS YEAR: WB.

Oman's remittance inflows this year are projected to be around US$41mn, according to a World Bank (WB) report.

The WB said remittance inflows have been around US$39mn since 1986 and this is the first time it is expected to touch US$41mn. Remittances to low- and middle-income countries grew rapidly and are projected to reach a new record in 2018, says the latest edition of the WB's Migration and Development Brief, released on Saturday.

The bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries will increase by 10.8 per cent to reach US$528bn in 2018. This new record level follows robust growth of 7.8 per cent in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3 per cent to US$689bn.

Remittances to the Middle East and North Africa region are projected to grow by 9.1 per cent to US$59bn in 2018, following six per cent growth in 2017. The growth rate is driven by Egypt's projected rapid remittance growth of 14 per cent. In contrast, remittances to Jordan are projected to decline by one per cent in 2018. Beyond 2018, the region is expected to experience continued growth in remittances, although at a slower pace of 2.7 per cent in 2019. Lower oil prices are expected to moderate growth in GCC countries and remittance outflows will also be dampened by nationalisation policies of Saudi Arabia, notably in sectors banning foreign workers as of 2018.

Remittance flows rose in all regions, most notably in Europe and Central Asia (20 per cent) and South Asia (13.5 per cent), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (9.8 per cent), Latin America and the Caribbean (9.3 per cent), the Middle East and North Africa (9.1 per cent), and East Asia and the Pacific (6.6 per cent). Growth was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation.

'The future growth of remittances is vulnerable to lower oil prices, restrictive migration policies, and an overall moderation of economic growth. Remittances have a direct impact on alleviating poverty for many households, and the World Bank is well positioned to work with countries to facilitate remittance flows,' said Michal Rutkowski, senior director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at WB on worldwide remittance trend.

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Publication:Muscat Daily (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:0DEVE
Date:Dec 10, 2018
Words:450
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