Remittances: America is the big loser as France cashes in

From Global development | The Guardian Wed Jan 30 2013, 18:39:53

Some developed world countries are now net cash importers as professionals working abroad send money home

When the financial crisis arrived on the shores of Dubai and the workforce constructing the seemingly endless line of exotic hotels and private golf courses was told to down tools, it was a bigger blow to the villages of Pakistan and Bangladesh than the tiny emirate's treasury coffers. Almost all of Dubai's 2 million population comprises foreign nationals who send home 40% of everything they earn, according to the World Bank.

Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and the Chinese are among the most numerous nationalities in Dubai. There are also several thousand Britons.

Buried in the data on global remittances is a surprising fact: some developed countries are now net importers of cash, as professional people working abroad send increasing amounts of cash home. According to the World Bank, France benefited from a huge remittance inflow of $18.9bn in 2011, more than the $14.8bn that left the country.

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