The volume of money sent by foreign workers to their home countries reached a record-breaking $529 billion last year, and is set to become the main source of external financing for those states in 2019.

The amount represents an upsurge of 9.6% against the previous record of $483 billion fixed in 2017.

Money transfers to poor and developing countries accounts for 77% of global remittances that reportedly reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017, according to the latest migration and development brief released by the World Bank earlier this week.

India retained the position of the world’s top recipient of the transfers with its nationals sending home an estimated $79 billion last year. The country saw a significant boost in remittances over the last three years, from $62.7 billion in 2016 to $65.3 billion 2017.

India was followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion), and Egypt ($29 billion). This year, cash transactions by migrants are expected to reach $550 billion, turning into a major channel of external inflows for low-income and middle-income countries.

The total amount of money transfers to South Asia grew 12% to $131 billion in 2018, marking a 12% year-on-year growth.

Transactions to the East Asia and Pacific region increased by around 7% to $143 billion, while Europe and Central Asia saw a significant boost of an estimated 11% to $59 billion.

According to the global lender, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan “benefited from the sustained rebound of economic activity in Russia.”

Remittance flows into Latin America and the Caribbean rose by 10% to $88 billion, while cash transactions to the Middle East and North Africa grew 9% to $62 billion.

Remittances to South Asia increased by 12% to $131 billion, while Sub-Saharan Africa saw almost 10% growth to $46 billion.

“Excluding China, remittances to low and middle-income countries ($462 billion) were significantly larger than foreign direct investment flows in 2018 ($344 billion), the World Bank concludes.

RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.

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