Can Pakistani Diaspora Help in Pakistan's Development?

Nearly 5 million Pakistani emigrants make up the world's 7th largest disapora, according to the World Bank Factbook 2011. Adding the foreign-born children of these Pakistani emigres to the tally pushes the total figure up to about 7 million. The top five nations that the Pakistani diaspora calls home include the United Kingdom (1.2 million), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1.2 million), the United Arab Emirates (1.1 million), the United States (700,000) and Canada (300,000), according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

The nations ranking ahead of Pakistan are Mexico at #1, India at #2, Russia at #3, China at #4, Ukraine at #5 and Bangladesh at #6. Both the UK and Pakistan are tied at #7 with 4.7 million emigres, according to the World Bank.

World's Top 10 Diasporas:

Here are the top 10 national diasporas:

1. Mexico 11.9 million

2. India 11.4 million

3. Russia 11.1 million

4. China 8.3 million

5. Ukraine 6.6 million

6. Bangladesh 5.4 million

7. Pakistan 4.7 million

7. United Kingdom 4.7 million

8. Philippines 4.3 million

8. Turkey 4.3 million

9. Egypt 3.7 million

9. Kazakhstan 3.7 million

10. Germany 3.5 million

10. Italy 3.5 million

Diaspora Remittances:

The World Bank's Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 ranks Pakistan at #11 in 2010 for remittances of $9.4 billion sent home by its diaspora. The State Bank of Pakistan reported that overseas Pakistanis sent home $5.291 billion during six months from July to Dec, 2010, an increase of $761 million or 17 per cent year over year, according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

India tops this list with remittances of $55 billion sent home in 2010, followed by China ($51 billion), Mexico ($22.6 billion), Philippines ($21.3 billion), France ($15.9 billion), Germany ($11.6 billion), Bangladesh ($11.1 billion), Belgium ($10.4 billion), Spain ($10.2 billion), Nigeria ($10 billion) and Pakistan ($9.4 billion).

Per Capita Remittances:

In terms of per capita remittances based the World Bank data, China leads the world with an average of $6,100 sent home by each member of the Chinese diaspora, followed by the Philippines ($4,953), India ($4,824), Bangladesh ($2055), Pakistan ($2000), Mexico ($1904), UK ($1,574), Ukraine ($803) and Russia ($504). These per capita figures are an indication of the wealth of each diaspora and the extent of the brain drain experienced by these nations.

Top Immigration Countries:

With 42.8 million immigrants, the United States is home to the world's largest immigrant population. India and Pakistan also have the distinction of being on the list with 5.4 million immigrants in India at #10 and Pakistan with 4.2 million immigrants at #13. Other nations on this list include Russia at #2 (12.3 million immigrants), Germany at #3 (10.8 million), Saudi Arabia at #4 (7.3 million), Canada at #5 (7.2 million), the UK at #6 (7 million), Spain at #7 (6.9 million), France at #8 (6.7 million) and Australia at #9 (5.5 million).

Examples of Diaspora's Role:

Diasporas of various nations are mutually beneficial to both the sending and the receiving countries. They send home the money to help their families and friends financially. And they often acquire advanced education and technical, professional and managerial skills and contribute to solving problems in their host nations in the West. And given the right political and policy context, the members of the diaspora can also help their countries of origin by using their deep knowledge of their home countries and by offering advanced skills, experience and knowledge acquired in more developed nations.

In terms of development help with the skills and capital of the diaspora for their home nations, there are three examples of fairly old and mature diasporas: China, India and Armenia. While China and India have benefited greatly from their diasporas, Armenia has lagged badly, according to a World Bank report titled "Work Globally, Develop Locally: Diaspora Networks as Springboards ....

Pakistani Diaspora's Role:

In Pakistan's case, growing remittances amounting to 5% of its gdp in 2010 from the nation's diaspora provided an important lifeline for the state of Pakistan in funding its large current account deficit and in helping the individuals and families receiving the funds to supplement their incomes.

Remittances are a source of income for households in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and other provinces in Pakistan, according to a 2010 World Bank report titled "Poverty fell in Pakistan in 2001-08 partly because of remittances". A recent Asian Development Bank study found that foreign remittances constituted 9.4 percent of household income in KP, compared to 5.1% for Punjab, 1.5% for Baluchistan, and 0.7% for Sindh.

Beyond the remittances, can Pakistan also benefit from its growing diaspora like India and China have from theirs? With millions of Pakistanis in Europe and America, many of them highly skilled entrepreneurs and business and technology professionals, Pakistani diaspora can be very helpful to their home country in its business, economic, social, political, educational and technological development. The realization of such great potential will only be possible if Pakistani government's public policy, public-private partnerships and state-to-state relations with the West create the necessary conditions for it to happen. Existing organizations of Pakistanis, such as OPEN Silicon Valley, APPNA, and PakAlumni Worldwide, can be helpful in such an endeavor.

Among the emerging diaspora networks, the effort of South African Network of Skills Abroad (SANSA), established by the University of Cape Town’s Science and Technology Policy Research Center, is worth watching. SANSA aims to promote collaboration between highly skilled expatriate scientists and technologists and their counterparts in South Africa. The target group is alumni of all major South African universities working in the West.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on May 13, 2012 at 9:29am

Here's an excerpt of Daily Mail report on Dr. Hasnat Khan who dated Princess Diana now volunteering in Pakistan, following in the footsteps of plastic surgeon Dr. Jawad of "Saving Face" fame:
The backwater in Pakistan for which Hasnat Khan will leave Britain couldn’t be further removed from the glamour of his London life and his Kensington Palace liaisons with Princess Diana.

But his work there will at last fulfil a dream that he and Diana once shared – to help those in need.

As head of cardiac surgery in the first charity-run hospital of its kind in Pakistan, Dr Khan will transform lives and communities.

The Abdul Razzaq Medical Trust hospital, in Badlote village, will treat for free rural patients too poor to afford even the transport fares to a hospital in the nearest town, let alone surgery costs.

Those patients will include children suffering rheumatic fever, which leaves many with narrowed arteries to the heart which become fatal if untreated.

Even for the few families who can afford surgery, waiting lists for treatment at the nearest heart hospital are two years. Most have no choice but to watch their children weaken and die.

Every time Dr Khan visits his parents in the nearby town of Jhelum, a queue of patients forms outside the house to seek his help, many of them poor families with desperately ill children.

‘They ring my mother to find out when I am coming home,’ he said.

He recalled a nine-year-old boy who came to see him with his father, with arteries so narrowed Dr Khan realised he would not survive long.

‘I said to his father, “I can’t believe he has got to this stage and you haven’t taken him to hospital,” ’ he said. ‘He told me he had taken him to hospital but it was going to cost 250,000 Rupees (£171) for an operation and there was no way he could afford it.

‘So he just left it, knowing the boy was going to die soon. He was such a happy kid. He was still running about and he had no idea what was going on.

‘I felt helpless. All I had was a stethoscope. I couldn’t even give him the money for the operation because it was too late for him to be operated on. He wouldn’t have survived the surgery.’

As he recounted the case, Dr Khan phoned a friend in Jhelum to find out if the boy was still alive. An hour later, the call came back with the news that first the boy and then his father had died.

The hospital where Dr Khan’s heart unit will be based is the first charitable cardiology unit in Pakistan. He is setting it up with fellow cardiologist Dr Azhar Kayani, director of medicine for the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Pakistani president’s personal physician.

Dr Kayani, who grew up in Badlote and studied with Dr Khan in Lahore, said the hospital would cost the equivalent of £1 million and should open before the end of the year. It is named after his father.

Volunteers from Basildon Hospital in Essex, where Dr Khan works, are helping the fundraising drive for the unit and will help train doctors and nurses. They have also helped find donated equipment from other NHS hospitals.

Describing the life that awaits him in Pakistan, he said: ‘If you look out from the hospital you see open countryside with cows and camels. There are no taxis or cars or buses. People walk for miles and miles just to see someone.

‘It is very simple to live here. My [family] home is just down the road so I will have no rent to pay.

‘This unit is a dream come true. It is very satisfying. Of course I find my work in England satisfying but my work there is also routine. To come here and to build something from scratch is very different.’..

Read more:

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 23, 2012 at 5:21pm

Here's an APF PR release via Marketwatch:

The American Pakistan Foundation (APF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced plans to collaborate on sustainable socio-economic development in Pakistan. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and APF CEO Awais Khan recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Islamabad to establish a working alliance between the two organizations.

APF seeks to effectively catalyze long term economic development and social change in Pakistan by engaging the diaspora and the private sector and by building partnerships with key stakeholders in Pakistan and the United States. APF identifies and supports credible and scalable socio-economic initiatives by collaborating with partners on the ground in Pakistan, and by mobilizing intellectual and financial resources towards these programs.

This partnership between APF and USAID will focus on development activities across various sectors - including basic and higher education, vocational and technical training, an investment fund, and a small grants program. The partnership also seeks to engage the Pakistani diaspora and the private and philanthropic sectors in the US to further support innovation and civil society in Pakistan.

"The private sector is the engine of growth, and is vitally important to Pakistan. The US government recognizes that as part of private sector engagement, the Pakistani diaspora can play an important role in the development of Pakistan by building partnerships, networks and linkages, economic opportunities, and helping to increase access to social services", said Dr. Rajiv Shah at the signing ceremony.

"We will leverage our network and experience in the United States and Pakistan to facilitate funding, skills transfer, and knowledge-building to support activities and programs. The collaboration will pursue a robust engagement of the Pakistani diaspora, and private and philanthropic sectors to boost development impact for the people of Pakistan", said Awais Khan.

The signing ceremony was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, APF Board Vice Chair Wahid Hamid, Board Members of the British Pakistan Foundation (APF's sister organization in the UK), members of the APF Leadership and Advisory Councils, and representatives from the Pakistani private sector and the U.S. government.

About the American Pakistan Foundation (APF)

APF seeks to effectively catalyze long term economic development and social change in Pakistan by engaging the diaspora and the private sector and by building partnerships with key stakeholders in Pakistan and the United States. APF identifies and supports credible and scalable socio-economic initiatives by collaborating with partners on the ground in Pakistan, and by mobilizing intellectual and financial resources towards these programs. APF's recent flood recovery and rehabilitation program is impacting over 42,000 lives in Pakistan. APF offers a secure and transparent channel for charitable giving and is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the United States.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 10, 2012 at 10:12pm

Here's an ET report on record high remittances from Pakistani diaspora:

With an impressive 17.7% annual growth, remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis surged to a record high and crossed the psychological mark of $13 billion in the previous fiscal year 2011-12, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced on Tuesday.

Continuous growth in remittances is being billed as a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy, especially when energy shortages and high inflation have hurt gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

“Remittances have been playing a key role in the country’s economic performance,” said Muzammil Aslam, Managing Director of Emerging Economics Consultancy.

“One can safely say that the continuous rise in remittances in the last few years has saved Pakistan from serious economic problems including default on debt repayments.”

Aslam suggested that the government can further increase the flow of remittances if it reduces the difference between interbank and open market exchange rates for the US dollar from the present one rupee to 10 to 15 paisa. “This will encourage overseas workers to send more and more dollars through banking channels instead of illegal means.”

Invest Capital Markets analyst Khurram Schehzad commented that the continuous rise in remittances is significantly positive for the country as the money supported the economy in different forms. Overseas Pakistani workers remitted a record amount of $13.186 billion in the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, compared with $11.201 billion received a year earlier, the SBP said.

Except for September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million), Pakistanis remitted more than $1 billion in each of the remaining 10 months.

Monthly average of remittances rose 17.73% to $1.099 billion compared with $933.41 million a year earlier.

In June overseas Pakistanis sent home $1.117 billion compared to $1.104 billion received in the same month of 2010-11.

In the same month, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries and EU countries amounted to $333.68 million, $219.14 million, $206.60 million, $128.12 million, $126.72 million and $29.24 million respectively. In comparison, remittances from these countries were $291.55 million, $270.04 million, $204.64 million, $121.35 million, $106.20 million and $33.83 million respectively in June 2011.

Analysts believe that the SBP’s initiative for facilitation of remittances, called the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI), has significantly contributed to the growth of remittances.

Since its inception in April 2009, PRI has taken a number of steps to enhance the flow of remittances through legal channels. These include preparation of strategies on remittances, taking all necessary steps to implement the overall strategy, playing an advisory role for the financial sector in terms of preparing a business case, relationship building with overseas correspondents, creating separate and efficient remittance payment highways and becoming a national focal point for overseas Pakistanis through a round-the-clock call centre.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 8, 2012 at 11:05am

Here's a GeoTV story on Pakistani doctors in the UK:

Pakistan has become the largest exporter of young doctors to Britain's state funded National Health Service (NHS) after clearing Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test, the main route by which international medical graduates demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK.

More than at any point in time in the past, there is a huge surge in the number of Pakistani medical graduates coming and settling in the UK where they are getting good jobs as Pakistani doctors enjoy good reputation and its easy for newcomers to settle easily due to good community connections. The number of doctors taking a flight to the UK is set to go up further as their dissatisfaction within Pakistan grows, as demonstrated recently by the nationwide strikes of young doctors, especially in Punjab.

According to General Medical Council (GMC), over 600 Pakistani medical graduates have taken the PLAB test this year alone. Training opportunities in Pakistan for young doctors are limited. The situation is not helped by the killing and kidnapping of doctors of various sects which has created a surge of fear in the medical profession. The kidnapping of the chief psychiatrist in Baluchistan has upset all doctors in Pakistan.

According to GMC, the number of Pakistani doctors who sat PLAB1 and PLAB2 since 2007-first half of 2012 stands at 6826. For two years from 2007 to 2009, 1786 medical graduates from Pakistan took part in PLAB1 examinations and for the same period 899 doctors took PLAB2 test. But the number went up unprecedentedly for the following years. In 2010 and 2011, 2490 doctors sat PLAB1 Test and 1011 took PLAB2 Test for the same period. The number of Pakistan registered on the GMC data stood at 8,552 on 7th of August, 2012.

Until 2006, around 70 per cent of the so-called "international medical graduates “ came from the Indian subcontinent, considered till then a traditional recruiting ground for NHS recruitment but the Labour government brought in new and stricter immigration rules to benefit doctors from the European Union (EU) countries. Till that time the greatest export of doctors was from India while Pakistan stood at around number 5.

Large scale protests were held by the 25,000-strong British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) against the new government regulations which were brought in without any consultation and warning. However, the government was not budging. Eventually BAPIO challenged the government in the court of law. The case went up to the House of Lords where BAPIO had a victory for those who were already in the training posts, thus saving jobs of about 15,000 doctors. However there were about 10,000 doctors who were not in the job and had to return to their countries mostly to India and Pakistan.

This episode created really bad vibes in India and since then Indian doctors are hesitant to come to UK. India is number 5 on the list now, from number one, according to GMC figures. There are two more reasons why Indian doctors are not keen on coming to the UK anymore. Indian doctors are enjoying benefits of the economic boom in India, private hospital conglomerates are expanding and public and private sectors are investing in the health sector while this is not the case in Pakistan.

There are many Pakistani doctors’ organisations active in the UK especially the alumni associations of medical colleges and there are three large collective associations, British Pakistani Doctors Forum, All Pakistani Physicians and Surgeons UK and Pakistan Medical Association UK; these have about 8000 doctors as members amongst them. Hundreds of doctors are not part of these organisations. These organisations provide active support to the new doctors in terms of helping them find new jobs and settling in.

Dr Akmal Makhdum, chairman of the British Pakistani Doctors Forum (BPDF) commented on the trend of more Pakistani doctors coming to the UK. “This is a happy augury for us in the UK and yet has a sad tinge to it that Pakistan is not offering opportunities for so many young, qualified people. BPDF members are working on some initiatives to develop training in Pakistan and some have succeeded in doing just that. We are here to advise and support our young doctors, to flourish in their careers and support them if the find any obstacles.”

Dr Abdul Hafeez of APPS told The News: “According to new visa arrangements under Tier 5 doctors can come to the UK for a fixed term 2 years contract and at the end of this time they have to leave the UK as their visa will not be extendable. This new arrangement will benefit both the UK and Pakistan n terms of covering the shortage in the system and training opportunities respectively. We feel that any job available in the NHS that will go to an overseas doctor should be filled by a Pakistani doctor.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 15, 2012 at 8:35am

Here's a News story about rising remittances from Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia:

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia send more remittances to Pakistan than from anywhere else in the world, according to a senior official of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

Khalid Bin Shaheen, senior executive vice president and group chief of the Global Home Remittance Management Group at NBP said: “Saudi Arabia is no longer just one of the leading sources of remittances for Pakistan. Instead it is the forerunner followed closely by UAE”.

This was corroborated by figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan recently, which showed that Pakistanis residing in Saudi Arabia sent home $657.78 million in the first two months of July-August FY12. In comparison, the inflow of remittances from the US, UK and Europe was only $446.61 million, $334.06 million, and $63.57 million.

He said that it was a widely held misguided view that affluent Pakistani immigrants in Western countries including USA, UK and Europe sent more remittances back home than their Middle Eastern counterparts.

The remittances sent home by overseas Pakistani workers have more than quadrupled in the last eight years to more than $13.186 billion, the highest-ever amount received in a year by the country in the last fiscal year, which ended in June 2012.

Explaining the reason for this anomaly, Shaheen said: “Even though the Pakistani diaspora living in the West is more prosperous than the majority of working class doing menial jobs in Saudi Arabia, UAE and the Gulf region, the former invest more in the countries they are residing in as they acquire citizenship there whereas the latter are unable to acquire foreign citizenship and therefore, they send back more money to their relatives and families in Pakistan.”

He added: “The rising remittances, which are the second major source of foreign exchange earnings after exports, has helped sustain Pakistan’s economy despite the extreme political instability, high oil prices and costly imports.

He praised the Pakistani community residing abroad who have always played an important role in the country’s foreign exchange reserves and credited the sharp increase to a crackdown on the illegal hundi and hawala money transfer system in general and to easier methods of transferring money though banks.

He said: “NBP is one of the largest players in the remittance market of Pakistan and partnerships with Western Union and other international exchanges will only consolidate the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI), which has increased worker remittances coming through the banking channel considerably and this ultimately has spillover effects for the entire economy.”

According to the World Bank data, Pakistan has become the fifth largest remittances recipient developing country in 2011 after India ($58 billion), China ($57 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), and the Philippines ($23 billion).

The World Bank has estimated that the remittance flows are expected to continue growing, with global remittances expected to exceed $593 billion by 2014, of which $441 billion will flow to developing countries.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 23, 2012 at 2:43pm

Here's Nation's story on allocating parliamentary seats for Pakistan diaspora:

In the wake of disqualification of lawmakers holding dual nationalities by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran has called for amendments in the constitution, enabling overseas Pakistanis to be elected for parliament through reserved seats, as remittances from abroad proved a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy.The APAT urged the government as well as the opposition parties to allocate at least 10 per cent reserved seats for overseas Pakistanis in the parliament. The government will have to amend the constitution with the support of all opposition parties to facilitate those Pakistanis having dual nationality, living abroad, he said. In this way, their interest in affairs of their motherland will further increase, as remittances have been playing a key role in the economic performance of Pakistan, it observed.Continuous rise in remittances in the last few years has saved Pakistan from serious economic problems including default on debt repayments, stated general secretary Naeem Mir.He said that presently, several countries including all the seven states of South Asia, counting India as well, and Pakistan’s share has been phenomenal during 2011-12 when overseas Pakistanis sent home record $13.21 billion that eclipsed all the receipts of several decades. Pakistan has now become among top five countries of the world which are receiving big remittances from overseas workers, majority of them might have dual nationality, he added.“This goes without saying that remittances from abroad proved a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy at a time when energy shortages, high inflation and missing revenue collection targets have hurt gross domestic product (GDP) growth.” He appreciated the right of vote for the overseas, calling for their representation too in parliament, as in this way, they will turned to be the ambassadors of Pakistan. They will not only remit their income but also pursue foreign investors to make investment in Pakistan. He said that if more incentives are introduced for sending money home in easier way by overseas Pakistanis, they might send more than $20 billion remittances as experts expect. He said that except for September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million) in last fiscal, Pakistanis remitted $1 billion or more in each of the remaining 10 months of 2011-12.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 24, 2012 at 9:11am

Here's Express Trib on Pakistani Norwegian as culture minister: A 29-year-old woman of Pakistani origin has earned a position in Norway’s cabinet, Express News reported Monday. Hadia Tajik, the first Muslim member of the Norwegian cabinet, has been named as the culture minister. Tajik is also the youngest in the cabinet. The newly elected minister said that in future, multicultural values will become a part of Norway’s everyday life. Tajik, of Pakistani origin, was elected as a member of the Norwegian parliament in 2009.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 23, 2012 at 4:35pm

Here's an excerpt of an interesting Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry paper regarding Indian diaspora:

In the theatre of development, the competitiveness and growth of an economy is determined by its capacity to acquire and apply new knowledge. In a rapidly globalizing world, learning new ways of doing things depends in no small measure on the ability to integrate with the larger world outside. We live in a world in which the free movement of goods and capital across borders is seen as a virtue. Arguably, it is seen to reinforce the principle of competitive advantage and help spur savings, investment and demand. What is less recognised is that International migration of human capital: the movement of knowledge, talent and skills across borders is central to learning and development.

The emergence of significant Diasporas has in recent years brought into sharp focus two key facts. First, there is a large expatriate population of skilled people from emerging economies in the developed world. Second, overseas communities can constitute a significant resource for the development of the countries of origin. The movement of the high skilled and low skilled workers from less to more developed economies and back opens several new opportunities for development. To view the Diaspora only through the looking glass of remittances and financial flows is to take a myopic view. Not all expatriates need to be investors and their development impact measured only in terms of financial contributions to the home country.

An overseas community can and does serve as an important 'bridge' to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin. The success of this bridge is often predicated upon two conditions: the ability of the Diaspora to develop and project a coherent, intrinsically motivated and progressive identity and the capacity of the home country to establish conditions and institutions for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding engagement. Home countries are now beginning to recognise the need to pursue and promote the dynamic of the Diaspora and development.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 29, 2012 at 10:54am

Here's an ET report on rise in worker remittances to developing world:

Developing countries are expected to receive $406 billion in remittances in 2012, which is 6.5% higher than the remittances they received in 2011, according to a recent World Bank report.

The World Bank projects that remittances to developing countries will grow by 7.9%, 10.1% and 10.7% in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, to reach $534 billion in 2015.

While the international economic downturn has adversely affected remittance flows to Europe and some other regions, South Asia is expected to fare much better than previously estimated, the report says. Remittance flows to South Asia are expected to clock in at around $109 billion in 2012, up by 12.5% over 2011, it said.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country received remittances of $13.2 billion in fiscal 2012, which were 17.7% higher than the preceding fiscal year.

Similarly, in the first four months of the current fiscal year, remittances to Pakistan stood at $4.9 billion, higher by 15% compared to remittances received in the corresponding four-month period last fiscal year.

“Regions and countries with large numbers of migrants in oil-exporting countries continue to see robust growth in inward remittance flows, compared with those whose migrant workers are largely concentrated in the advanced economies, especially Western Europe,” the World Bank report says.

According to the Bureau of Emigration’s Assistant Director Farrukh Jamal, more than 80% of the manpower that Pakistan has exported resides in Saudi Arabia. “Almost 90% of recent emigrants from Pakistan currently work in the Middle East,” he told The Express Tribune in an interview two weeks ago.

The largest single-country chunk of remittances that Pakistan received in fiscal 2012 – amounting to $1.1 billion – was from Saudi Arabia. It was followed closely by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with $963.1 million remitted from the country in the same period. The United States ($795.3 million) was the third biggest source of remittances during fiscal 2012...

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 16, 2013 at 10:37am

n his piece for The Nation newspaper, author Kamal Monnoo worries about future declines in overseas remittances to Pakistan from Pak diaspora.

The author is focusing too much on the cyclical economic factors and not enough on the longer term demographic trends.

Western nations are going to need more, not fewer, workers from developing nations like Pakistan because the populations in the OECD nations are aging and shrinking.

Kerala example is not relevant either because Kerala itself has sub-replacement TFR of just 1.7 which is worse than some of the European nations.

Pakistan, with its total fertility rate of 3.5, has the world’s sixth largest population, seventh largest diaspora and the ninth largest labor force. With rapidly declining fertility and aging populations in the industrialized world, Pakistan's growing talent pool is likely to play a much bigger role to satisfy global demand for workers in the 21st century and contribute to the well-being of Pakistan as well as other parts of the world.


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