Workers' Remittance Flows in Southeast Asia

Remittance fund flows from a regional perspective – trends & policies that can leverage them
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This report examines remittance fund flow from a regional perspective to understand its trends, as well as to identify policies that can leverage remittance.

To understand the trends, the study looks into a range of issues relevant to donors and development players:

  • Migration trends as well as their social and economic features;
  • Remittance flows - official and estimated figures;
  • Regulatory framework that oversees international worker transfers;
  • Marketplace of remittance flows- rules, players, and competition;
  • Role of financial intermediation;
  • Transnational landscape among remittance senders.

In attempting to identify trends and patterns in regional remittance flows, the report finds that:

  • Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines are the remittance recipient countries;
  • Hong Kong, China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are the source of remittance outflow;
  • Malaysia is peculiar as it is both a source and a recipient country.

Finally, the study lists the following recommendation and conclusions:

  • Existence of differences in regulatory environments among the Southeast Asian countries;
  • Requirement of more accurate data collection and analysis to have a better picture of the remittance transfer universe;
  • Necessity of studying more closely the sources of informality in the various corridors, and possible strategies for reducing it;
  • Need for expanding the availability of banking services to companies employing migrant workers;
  • Recommendations:
    • two specific strategies to strengthen the link between financial intermediation and remittances;
    • the formation of a regional task force to discuss a development agenda on remittances.