Public Private Partnership required leveraging the Development impact of remittance flows to Asia, World Bank Report

Published Date:   Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013

Public Private Partnership required leveraging the Development impact of remittance flows to Asia, World Bank Report

Remittances are becoming crucial part of the Economy in many Asian countries. The recent World Bank report released in May 2013 titled “Sending Money Home to Asia: Trends and opportunities in the world’s largest remittance marketplace”, reveals that remittances to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are the highest in Asia at 32.2 per cent and 51.6 per cent of their respective GDPs. Three countries receive more than 10 per cent of GDP, ranging from Bangladesh (11.6 per cent) to Afghanistan (16.3 per cent) and Nepal (28.5 per cent). (World Bank, 2013: 10). 

The reports are intended to provide policymakers, market players and regulators with an overview of the basic information regarding the most important topics facing the region’s remittance marketplace. The report reveals that given the opportunity, and with access to the appropriate tools and mechanisms, remittance receiving families have shown enthusiasm for saving and investing. Public-private partnerships to reach these goals are an important part of any programme designed to leverage the development impact of remittance flows. The report observed some positive examples in Bangladesh and the Philippines where programmes and mechanisms have been developed to turn remittances into assets.

There is need for more long term plans as observed by the report. One of the most important is to have efficient and cost effective infrastructure such as microfinance institutions, mobile operators and post offices. The report also mentioned how networks such as post offices can be used for creating better infrastructure for cost effective delivery. It observed “Asia alone accounts for more than half of the world’s post offices, having over 350,000 branches, of which more than 200,000 are located in rural areas”. There should be serious effort to promote financial inclusion by promoting entrepreneurship and investment. The South Asia alone has about 28 million migrant workers living abroad, making this subregion the largest source of migrants of the continent, the report mentioned. Thus there is an urgent need to address the issue of financial inclusion and also leverage the opportunity.

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