Foreign Remittances Increase to $3.3 Billion
2019-04-01 - 4:52 p
Bahrain Mirror: Remittances by foreign workers in Bahrain increased to about 22.1 million dinars ($3.3 billion) in 2018, according to recent official statistics.
Foreign remittances exceed $1 billion in an unprecedented new level for the very first time in the history of the kingdom.
Money sent by foreigners through cash transfers, remittances and other ways rose by about 6.32% is the largest increase registered since more than 15 years, according to historical data.
In 2017, the annual increase of foreign remittances was about 1.3% and in 2016 it was about 1%. Meanwhile, there was no significant increase in 2015. Foreign remittances account for nearly half of government revenues in one year and nearly tenth the value of the Bahraini economy as a whole, which constitutes a major financial bleeding and pressure on the payments balance.
About 600,000 foreign workers are employed in Bahrain, representing 79% of the kingdom's total workforce.
The Central Bank of Bahrain had earlier rejected proposals to levy a tax on foreign remittances, which it believed would harm the foreign employment, limit the free flow of capital and create illegal channels for money transferal.
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the proposal would alienate investors from Bahrain, stressing that the process of imposing fees need to be subject to studies to avoid negative effects. Meanwhile, Bahrain Association of Banks considered that this proposal would contribute to a decline in the work of exchange shops and financial institutions, demanding a comprehensive study to the issue..