Impacts on international migration and remittances growth.

Author:Alam, Ferdous


International Migration refers to the cross-border movement of people from a mother country to a location outside that mother country, with the purpose of taking up higher income employment, better living conditions, higher education get access to civic amenities and conducting a daily existence there for an extended period of time. According to the social scientists, it has a tremendous potential for human progress, global circulation and integration by the human mobility (Castles and Wise, 2008). It can have significant positive impacts on household well-being and economic growth through improved income opportunities, knowledge transfers and increased integration in the global economy (The World Bank, 2005). Since the mid 1970s, international labour migration has become an important element of survival for many households in Bangladesh. Migration carries both high costs and risks for migrants and their families who lose an important member of the household for an extended period of time yet every year thousands of Bangladeshis migrate to the Middle East and other developed countries of the world Europe, North America, Australia and Asia especially Malaysia for employment.

Bangladesh export migrant workers to 13 Middle Eastern and North African counties. Only 8 countries among them, account for more than 82% (24, 10, 690) of the total migrants till now. This flow has been particularly high in the last two years, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), 381,516 people left the country in 2006, an increase of 50% over the previous year 2005 and this number has 60% increased in 2007. The formal 'export of manpower" was launched in 1976 with the number at 6,087 workers only. In 2005 the export went up to 252702. Form 1976 to April 2006 altogether 4273000 people has migrated from Bangladesh on overseas employment (Internal Resources Division, 2005).

Eighty two percent world's migrants come from developing countries; Bangladesh, China, India, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine are the top migrant sender countries (The World Bank, 2005). The share of remittances in household income has risen from 3.7% in 1987-88-18.5% in 2000; meanwhile, the total volume of remittances has been growing at a pace of 20% per annum and is likely to exceed a total of US$ 6 billion in 2007 (IMF, 2005). The amount of remittances in terms of GDP 7.7%, exports 45.6% and imports 32.6% in 2006 (Ministry of Finance, 2003). According to the BMET (Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training) in 2009 the earning of the remittances was USD $10720.20 million and total earning remittances from 1974 up to 2009 was USD $67676.58 million, beside of this another 40% will be addition for the unofficially. Given its size, the stability of remittances inflow has become an important issue due to its growing development potentials to affect both micro and macro economy via current account financing and influencing liquidity of the banking system. Various kinds of migration, particularly income-seeking migration across national boundaries, have attracted much attention in the recent scholarly and policy literature (Morawska, 2001).

In worldwide terms, the large amount of remittances sent back by migrant workers has spurred an intense debate on their potential effects for poverty reduction, financial stability and economic development of migrant sending countries (Ratha, 2003; The World Bank, 2005; Maimbo and Ratha, 2005). A significant number of labor migrants residing in northern European countries has, over the years, returned their savings as remittances to their country of origin either as a supplementary source of income to family and relatives or to start new businesses in their country of origin while, on the other hand, some other migrants are trying to raise loan capital to start new businesses in their country of residence (Shahamak, 2010). Remittances are more than doubled over the 1990s from the developing countries, whereas official aid flows showed a declining trend. Remittances have proved to be less volatile, less procyclical and therefore a more reliable source of income than other capital flows to developing countries, such as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and development aid (Gammeltoft, 2002; Keely and Tran, 1989; Puri and Ritzema, 1999; Ratha, 2003). Remittances affect poverty eradication most directly by increasing the income of households which have a family...

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