Sri Lanka's Migrant Labor Remittances : Enhancing the Quality and Outreach of the Rural Remittance Infrastructure

How can the infrastructure in Sri Lanka become more conducive to the flow of remittances?
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This paper highlights key policy issues associated with various aspects of remittances in Sri Lanka with the objective of improving public and private infrastructure for current and future flows. The paper:

  • Builds on recent World Bank research on remittances, especially in South Asia;
  • Recognizes the development potential of these flows;
  • Provides specific policy-relevant guidance on short and long-term policies for enhancing the quality and outreach of rural remittance infrastructure.

The paper states that:

  • Remittances sent home by workers abroad are hugely beneficial to Sri Lanka;
  • Migrant remittances have grown in recent years and are now estimated at U.S. $ 1.5 billion annually;
  • This phenomenon is consistent with growing remittance trends in neighboring countries;
  • This trend is likely to continue as workers continue to look abroad for the chances to make a better living;
  • These trends have significant implications on economic policy.

The paper concludes by listing the following key issues:

  • The developmental impact of remittances;
  • The high transaction costs associated with remittances;
  • The level of transparency and accountability in the remittance industry, especially the informal remittance sector.

About this Publication

By Lasagabaster, E., Maimbo, S.M. & Hulugalle, S.