The Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID) discussed ways to improve financial services used by migrants and diaspora communities, and to maximize the development impact of migrants’ remittances in the Asia-Pacific region.
On the occasion of the Forum, IFAD launched a report titled, 'RemitSCOPE - Remittance markets and opportunities - Asia and the Pacific'.
Conclusions from GFRID 2018 will feed into efforts to achieve the SDGs, and into current negotiations towards the UN Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
10 May 2018: The Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID) discussed ways to improve financial services used by migrants and diaspora communities, and to maximize the development impact of migrants’ remittances in the Asia-Pacific region. Hosted by Bank Negara, Malaysia’s central bank, the forum highlighted the value of migrants’ remittances and their potential for directing investment to rural areas and under-served communities. Conclusions from GFRID 2018 will feed into efforts to achieve the SDGs, and into current negotiations towards the UN Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which Member States expect to adopt later this year.
The World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) collaborated with Malaysia to organize the three-day forum, from 8-10 May, on the theme of ‘Leveraging Remittances for SDGs: A Call to Action.’ Over 400 delegates from the public and private sectors, including financial regulators, central banks, the diplomatic corps, microfinance agencies and commercial banks, attended the forum.
In her keynote address, Jessica Chew, Bank Negara Malaysia Deputy Governor, pointed out that Malaysia has long had national policies for inclusive and sustainable development. She noted, however, that government efforts would not be sufficient to achieve the SDGs, and that businesses should be encouraged to reinvigorate financial services and direct financial resources towards economic activities that promote sustainability. She highlighted the large role that could be played by banks and financial institutions in achieving the SDGs, for example, targets under SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 8 ( decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities). Chew presented Bank Negara’s cooperation with the World Bank to test and introduce regulatory approaches to remittances. The collaboration aims to expand access to formal remittance channels to people in remote Malaysian locations, reduce the cost of using formal channels, and guard against money laundering and finance for terrorism.
On the occasion of the Forum, IFAD launched a report titled, ‘RemitSCOPE – Remittance Markets and Opportunities – Asia and the Pacific.’ It estimates that approximately one billion people worldwide send and receive remittances, and that the Asia-Pacific region receives 55% of all such flows, amounting to more than 20% of some countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) and totaling near US$256 billion. Per the report, migrants bear a heavy burden in transaction costs, which averaged 6.86% in the region in 2017. Costs rose as high as 8.9% in small Pacific island States. IFAD also launched a web portal, ‘RemitSCOPE,’ which provides access to information on remittance markets and opportunities in the region.
GFRID was established in 2008 as a forum to promote good practice and collaboration. Besides improving the efficiency and reach of financial services for migrants, the forum seeks to promote financing for agriculture through diaspora investment, and to create a multi-stakeholder platform for regional dialogue and action. [GFRID Agenda and Background Information] [Links to GFRID Newsletters 2018] [IFAD Opening Press Release] [IFAD Press Release on Report] [IFAD Press Release on Web Portal] [Bank Negara Deputy Governor’s Keynote Address]