Time to harness the remittance boom | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Time to harness the remittance boom

  • Published: | Viewed: 1,513 | Comments: 0
  • Newspaper section: News
  • Writer: Kanayo F Nwanze
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For more than a decade, Asia's economies have been on the move _ and so have its people. The scale of migration from rural to urban areas and across international borders is historically unprecedented, and 21st century Asia is its focal point. 

A migrant worker uses an ATM machine with instructions written in Thai and Burmese. Worldwide, remittances sent home to developing countries are five times higher than official development aid, yet most migrant workers are still excluded from modern banking services. PAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN

In Asia's developing countries, the power and potential of remittances _ the money that migrant workers send home to their families (many of whom live in poor and remote areas) _ is immense. Currently, more than 60 million migrant workers from the Asia-Pacific region account for more than half of all remittance flows to developing countries, sending home about US$260 billion (7.74 trillion baht) in 2012.

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