Gulf ex­pat work­ers send home US$100 bil­lion: re­port

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

For­eign­ers work­ing in the en­ergy-rich Arab states of the Gulf sent more than US$100 bil­lion in remit­tances to their home coun­tries last year, an eco­nomic re­port showed Tues­day.

The fig­ure was twice as high as remit­tances in 2010, an in­di­ca­tion of strong growth, the head of eco­nomic re­search at Kuwait Fi­nan­cial Cen­ter (Markaz), Raghu Mandagoathur, said in the re­port.

Around 25 mil­lion ex­pats live in the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates — equal to the na­tive pop­u­la­tion.

The remit­tances are es­ti­mated at 6.2 per­cent of the com­bined GDP of the six GCC states of US$1.6 tril­lion, the re­port said, cit­ing IMF and World Bank fig­ures.

In com­par­i­son, for­eign­ers in the U.S and the UK sent home just 0.7 per­cent and 0.8 per­cent of GDP, re­spec­tively, it said.

Saudi Ara­bia topped the list with its es­ti­mated 10 mil­lion ex­pats send­ing home US$44 bil­lion, fol­lowed by UAE with 29 bil­lion.

Remit­tances from Kuwait and Qatar were US$12 bil­lion and US$9.5 bil­lion, re­spec­tively, while smaller trans­fers were made out of Oman and Bahrain, the re­port said.

The ma­jor­ity of Gulf ex­pa­tri­ates orig­i­nate from In­dia, Egypt, the Philip­pines, Bangladesh and Pak­istan, as well as In­done­sia, Sri Lanka and Ye­men.

The re­port at­trib­uted the high level of remit­tances to curbs ap­plied by GCC states on for­eign own­er­ship and in­vest­ment.

And un­like in West­ern coun­tries, for­eign­ers have no hope of ac­quir­ing cit­i­zen­ship in GCC states re­gard­less of the du­ra­tion of res­i­dence.

The re­port ad­vised GCC states to en­cour­age ex­pa­tri­ates to in­vest by launch­ing spe­cial­ized ser­vices and open­ing up their mar­kets to for­eign res­i­dents, es­pe­cially the real es­tate sec­tor.

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