Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:03 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:03 | SYDNEY

The value of remittances


Jenny Hayward-Jones


18 February 2008 14:59

My colleague Michael Fullilove’s new Lowy Institute Paper, World wide webs: Diasporas and the international system, discusses the positive development impact of global remittances, which now dwarf official development assistance, and recommends reform to reduce remittance fees and costs. AusAID’s proposal to establish a website to lower the cost of remittance payments between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island nations suggests the contribution of labour mobility and remittances to development is becoming more acceptable to Canberra policy-makers. 

However, Pacific Island governments also need to make some adjustments to enable remittances to have a greater impact.  Increased labour mobility and increased remittances will likely expose the weaknesses in the ICT and banking infrastructure of Pacific Island nations. There are already many home-grown reasons to improve this infrastructure, not least to assist the growth of the private sector and development of trade. But if governments want to take full advantage of remittances, they will need to act adroitly and work with the private sector to drive the vital infrastructure improvements.