Dr Murtaza Syed, Acting Governor, State Bank of Pakistan spoke as the Chief Guest at the launch of the Pakistan Migration Report 2022, on June 30, 2022 at the Lahore School of Economics, Burki Campus.
The report is second in the series published biennially by the Centre on Migration, Remittances and Diaspora (CIMRAD), Lahore School of Economics. Dr Rashid Amjad, Director Graduate Institute of Development Studies (GIDS) and CIMRAD opened the proceedings of the launch.
According to the report, it is unlikely that the surge in remittances witnessed during 2020 and 2021 will sustain. While the shift in inflows from informal to formal channels and the new initiatives during Covid-19 period were able to increase the average monthly inflows to around USD 2,500 million, the impact of these factors has been diminishing and inflows are slowing down. Deteriorating economic conditions and political environment discourages investment-oriented inflows, the report warns that this aspect demands consideration given the over reliance on these inflows.
Migrant outflows to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) declined drastically from 33.8 percent in 2019 to 9.6 percent in 2021, which is contrary to the historical trends.
Correspondingly, remittance inflows from UAE and Saudi Arabia increased at a lower rate in 2020-2021 compared to 2019-2020.
The report highlights the above observation as worrisome as the two countries are the largest recipients of migrants and senders of remittances to Pakistan.