If you are a Lebanese expat and regularly send money back to your home country, you can give yourself a pat on the back for keeping Lebanon economically kicking:
In Lebanon, which is the world’s eighth-largest recipient of overseas remittances, remittance inflows account for 21.4 per cent of gross domestic product and help keep the debt-ridden economy afloat.
Lebanon posted the second-fastest growth in remittances among developing countries last year, with growth in expatriate inflows reaching $8.4bn in 2010 – a year-on-year increase of 6.5 per cent.
Here are the top 10 remittance recipients among developing countries:
1. India ($53.1bn)
2. China ($51.3bn)
3. Mexico ($22.0bn)
4. Philippines ($21.4bn)
5. Bangladesh ($10.8bn)
6. Nigeria ($10.0bn)
7. Pakistan ($9.7bn)
8. Lebanon ($8.4bn)
9. Vietnam ($8.0bn)
10. Egypt ($7.7bn)
The most shocking aspect of the report is that the remittance makes up one-fifth of Lebanon’s GDP and 22% of all remittances sent to the MENA region. The only two other countries with double-digit contributions to GDP are the Philippines (11.3%) and Bangladesh (10.3%). You’d think with all that economic power we wield we’d have more say in government policies and who gets elected.