To celebrate the International Day of Family Remittances, the Central Bank of Malaysia, in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank Group, hosted a global conference with over 400 participants from the public and private sectors, and the civil society to discuss the issues of remittances, investment and development in the Asian-Pacific region.
Twenty-two panels of experts discussed the current status of remittance flows to Asia-Pacific and proposed policies and mechanisms to lower the transaction costs of migrant remittances, improve market efficiencies and maximise the impact of diaspora contributions for families in communities of origin.
The conference outlined a set of specific actionable plans, which are directly linked to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The five outcomes were structured as the following:
1. Recognize the contributions of migrant remittances and diaspora investments to achieving the SDGs.
2. Expand the collection, analysis and application of remittance- and diaspora-related data to foster effective public policies and private-sector investment, and informed decision-making.
3. Continuously review legal and regulatory frameworks on remittance and diaspora investments to promote coordination across jurisdictions; and ensure that they encourage competition, innovation and productivity, leading to greater market efficiency and lower cost.
4. Support financial involvement and facilitate asset-building in order to leverage the impact of remittances and diaspora investment.
5. Convene the public and private sectors, and the civil society beginning from the local level up to national and international levels, to coordinate and implement strategies, policies and actions, and evaluate efforts on a regular basis.
The findings at the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development are useful for identifying solutions to increase diaspora investment in Africa through remittances. According to the World Bank, Africa has the highest remittance costs in the world, remittances sent by 31 million international African migrants reached nearly $40 billion in 2010, equivalent to 2.6 percent of Africa’s gross GDP, showing the importance of remittances and diaspora investment in Africa and the need to review current remittance procedures.
To read a full list of outcomes at the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development 2018, please click on the link here.