Pakistan to receive record remittances from UAE and Saudi Arabia before Eid

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Pakistan forges closer ties with Saudi Arabia – and Iran isn't happyPakistan expects to receive record remittances mainly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ahead of Eid festivities.

This was revealed by currency traders and analysts on Friday.

Meanwhile, it is predicted that monthly inflows could reach a record high of over $3 billion.

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According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country witnessed a 43% increase in workers’ remittances in March 2021, when it received $2.7 billion.

It was the 10th consecutive month the Pakistani diaspora sent more than $2 billion to their homeland.

“Keeping in view the consistent inflows, we expect remittances to cross the $3 billion mark ahead of Eid,” Malik Bostan, the Chairperson of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP), disclosed on Friday.

“The major support, as usual, is coming from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where large numbers of Pakistani workers reside, and many of them are unable to travel to their country to celebrate Eid with their families,” he continued. 

“We expect 20% to 30% seasonal growth in remittances.”

During the current fiscal year, Saudi Arabia remained the single most significant contributor to workers’ remittances by sending $690.4 million in March.

During the fiscal year, the overall inflow from the kingdom amounted to $5.7 billion, followed by the UAE with $4.5 billion.

“Pakistan is receiving great support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Bostan said.

“This is likely to continue because overseas Pakistanis living in the Gulf region generously send zakat and other donations ahead of Eid festivities.”

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The country has cumulatively received $21.5 billion in remittances during July-March FY21, which is 26% higher than the number in the corresponding period of FY20.

Analysts maintained that travel restrictions coupled with technological upgrades played a major role in the growth of remittances through official channels.

“Now people are utilizing different payment transfer technology apps which are economical and much faster,” Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Pakistan-Kuwait Investment (PKI), informed Arab News.

“Previously, many people were reluctant to use these apps, but they have now discovered their benefits which have also resulted in the growth in remittances,” he added.

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