Bulgarians Abroad have Sent Home More than BGN 4 Billion in 2018

Finance | April 9, 2019, Tuesday // 16:19|  views

Last year, Bulgarians, working and living abroad, sent back almost 2.4 billion dollars (2.13 billion euros) back to the country. This is equal to 3.8% of Bulgaria's GDP, and the amount is forecast and calculated on the basis of IMF data, official national statistics and the national bank. Outside of these money transfers there is a cash transfer, but their amount is not part of statistics.

At the same time, the funds that are exported from Bulgaria from those working here are also growing. They have reached $ 221 million, not just passing the psychological threshold of $ 200 million, but also growing by more than 11 percent from $ 199 million in 2017. However, they are only 0.3 percent of Bulgaria's GDP .

The news is reported by the World Bank in its latest report on emigrant funds entering or leaving national economies. The report, released Monday, says that for low and middle income countries by 2018, they have reached a record $ 529 billion, an increase of 9.6% compared to $ 483 billion in 2017. Together with translations to countries with low and middle income, high incomes the total volume of funds that have moved in the world economy last year is $ 689 billion.

In 2019, those funds returned home in low- and middle-income countries will probably reach $ 550 billion and become the largest external source of funding for these economies.

The main reason for the sensitive change is the improvement in the employment situation in the US and the growth of the Gulf economies, where millions of people, mainly from Asia, work.

India remains the leading recipient of such funds ($ 79 billion), followed by China ($ 67 billion), Mexico ($ 36 billion), the Philippines ($ 34 billion), and Egypt ($ 29 billion)

In our region (Europe and Central Asia), the growth for 2018 was around 11% - to $ 59 billion (which is a sharp slowdown after 22% in 2017). Transfers coming from Poland, Russia, Spain and the United States are increasing. The biggest recipient of money from emigrants and people working abroad is Ukraine - a new record of more than $ 14 billion and an increase of 19% over the previous year.

World Bank data shows that official channel translations remain quite expensive - to send $ 200 in the first quarter of 2019, the fee was on average 7%. In Africa and the smaller islands in the Pacific Ocean it exceeds 10%. One of the goals of the international organization is by 2030 to reduce this fee to no more than 3%.

Bank transfers are the most expensive (11% charge for the first quarter of 2019), followed by postal registrations (over 7%). Post offices in some countries are in partnership with remittance companies, and their fee is on average 1.5%, but in some countries it has reached up to 4%.


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