Remittances of Lebanon expats up over 13 % in 2014

Lebanon-expats-logoRemittances to Lebanon by Lebanese Expatriate increased 13.2 percent in 2014 when compared to 2013, according to a report released by the World Bank.

“Remittances of Lebanese expatriates increased from $7.86 billion in 2013 to $8.9 billion in 2014,” the World Bank report said.

Lebanon registered the second-highest growth among the 15 largest recipients of remittances in developing economies last year, behind only Pakistan, which saw 16.6 percent increase, the report added

In comparison, remittances to developing countries in 2014 rose by 4.4 percent while those to Arab countries increased by 7.5 percent and remittances to Upper Middle Income Countries grew by 5.7 percent.

The report said Lebanon was the 14th-largest recipient of remittances in the world and the 10th largest recipient among 125 developing economies in 2014. Also, it was the second-largest recipient of remittances among 16 Arab countries and the third largest among 50 UMICs.

Remittances to Lebanon accounted for 1.5 percent of the global inflow of remittances in 2014, compared to 1.4 percent in 2013 and 1.3 percent in 2012.

Expatriates’ remittances to Lebanon were equivalent to 17.8 percent of GDP in 2014, the 11th highest such ratio in the world. Expatriates’ remittances to Lebanon were equivalent to 16.5 percent of GDP in 2013 and 15.3 percent of GDP in 2012. The World Bank estimated remittances to Arab countries at $52.5 billion, equivalent to about 2 percent of the region’s GDP last year.

Gulf is life support for Lebanon

lebanese-diasporaChairman of the Lebanese Chamber of Commerce Mohammed Choucair, warned of grave consequences for the Lebanese economy if the verbal campaign against Saudi Arabia continues.

Choucair did not name the Lebanese agents behind this campaign explicitly, but was clearly hinting at Hezbollah, which has lashed out at the kingdom over Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen.

Choucair stressed that thousands of Lebanese will be at risk of losing their jobs if this campaign against Saudi Arabia does not come to an end soon.

“How can some target Lebanese-Saudi relations? They need to remember that Lebanon would have starved to death if it weren’t for Lebanese remittances from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf states,” he said.

Choucair estimated that more than half  of the annual remittances come from Saudi Arabia, $2.6 billion from the rest of the GCC states and $1.4 billion from the rest of the world.

The United Arab Emirates expelled dozens of Lebanese expatriates last month for security reasons. There are over 300,000 Lebanese working in the Gulf states and the money they send each year to Lebanon has shored up the Lebanese economy, increased bank deposits and revived the real estate sector.

But observers do not expect GCC states to expel most or all Lebanese expatriates despite the row between Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam not only distanced himself from Hezbollah’s position but also fully backed Saudi Arabia.

Choucair emphasized that Saudi Arabia did not even suggest that it would penalize Lebanon or threaten to sever ties.

“Saudi Arabia would never make a decision just to harm the Lebanese economy. Neither Saudi Arabia nor the Gulf states have called for the deportation of Lebanese people, unless the individuals are wanted for security reasons, as in the case of those 200 recently deported,” he added.

Choucair made the statement as he headed a delegation on a Gulf tour that would include Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

He said the delegation would explore the possibility of establishing joint Lebanese and Gulf ventures, including joint investments in Africa.

  • 5thDrawer

    And even then, it’s not enough to keep some of ‘the folks’ alive.

    • 5thDrawer

      What that map shows, is that Lebanese CAN work and live with other people.
      It’s the ones that kill them all the time who can’t live with anyone but their own tribe.

      • Andre

        That’s the sad truth, and soon enough some one will pop in and blame you know who!

  • MekensehParty

    Emotional investments rarely pay off
    This is a waste of money from the expats, especially that they’re getting absolutely nothing in return, not even the right to vote (in elections which results can be denied by the terrorists running the country).

    • 5thDrawer

      Like one of our friends from Australia said last year, Mekenseh, ‘Took ten years to get the whole family out. I love the place, but Fuck Lebanon – I’m not paying any more.’

    • Hannibal

      A remittance is not a tax… Why would it be a waste of money when I am sending money to my parents for instance… But look closer to home 😉 yes your U.S. home it taxes you even when you are an expat which no other country does…
      A canadian friend of mine had the misfortune to be born to a dual citizenship parents with both US and Canadian citizenship. Now mind you he’s never stepped foot in the U.S. He is forced to pay taxes to the U.S. with arrear just because his long deceased parents had dual citizenship. It gets worse… He wanted to give up his citizenship and they fined him $2500 to give it up which he did gladly but he still owed arrears.
      But here is Mr. Patriot himself not understanding the difference between taxation and remittance to use it for the sake of shooting his mouth against his country of origin.
      We all know of those problems ya mekenseh kheshne amma nee3me 😉
      How to fix them remains to be tackled… Besides we have, no scratch that, the world has a BIGGER problem, namely Islamists and Da3ish pigs. That is the problem.

      • MekensehParty

        Where did I say that remittances are taxes?
        The right to vote has nothing to do with taxes, people who don’t pay taxes have every right to vote as long as they have citizenship, or else your friends the shia would count as 3% of the voters and I’m being generous.
        I’m happy for you that you have a friend but fail to connect the two stories. So stop talking out of your ass as you Lebanese often do, and think of how much better the money you send to your beloved Lebanon would serve if you keep it here in the US for none other than your children…
        Think that every dollar you send to Lebanon a part of it will undoubtedly finish in the terrorists hands and another part in the pocket of some corrupt official, and on top of that both the terrorists and the corrupts will give you the middle finger if you ask for your minimal right as a proud Lebanese citizen.

        • Hannibal

          Reread your previous sentence.
          Besides tell me please if my wife and kids are in Lebanon would I let them starve while I work in Dubai for instance?

          • MekensehParty

            Exactly my point. If you work in Dubai it means there’s no work for you in Lebanon. Why keep sending money to a country where your kids will graduate and not find jobs? Move your family to Dubai and spend your money in a country where they’ll have a future. Sending money back to Lebanon is like compensating a bad kid instead of punishing him. What is the bad kid going to do when you send him money even when he’s bad? Blow the money on more bad things. Which is exactly what’s happening.

      • 5thDrawer

        Gotta say that Canuk story sounds very weird. If he was born in Canada, he’s Canadian. Period.
        Why pay anything to the US of A ??
        Were the parents some of the draft-dodgers who came here during Vietnam?
        Was that a ‘fine’?

        • MekensehParty

          Because the guy is making or has made money in the US.
          Or inherited money and has to pay tax on it and he goes complain to the biggest complainer his lebanese friend 😉
          There’s a ton of ways for US expats to pay nothing of their income unless making 6 figures plus. They have to file though and yes, sometime pay a small amount because when retirement comes, Hannibal and the complainers ain’t going to zahle hospital see some shady doctor, they’re going to the best doctors in the US on medicare’s dime.

          • 5thDrawer

            … ahh … thanks…. 🙂

          • MekensehParty

            Kill a Lebanese but don’t ask him to pay taxes… or stop at a red light