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Tonga one of three pacific countries that figure prominently among the 15 top recipients of remittances as shares of national incomes

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 08/09/2016)

Among the 15 top recipients of remittances as shares of national incomes, three Pacific Island Countries figure prominently, Tonga, Samoa and Marshall Islands.

Pacific Island countries do depend on remittances. Tonga is the world’s fourth ranked country with near one-third of its annual national income(28%) coming from Tongans working overseas. The next is Samoa, twelfth in rank with 18% of GDP and Marshall Islands ranked twentieth(14%).

A report by Fiji Times says, remittance inflows from migrants to families and elderlies in our countries are steadily mounting.

Data released by World Bank last month reveals that worldwide migration population is 3% of world population, having risen from 175 million in 2000 to 247 million in 2013 and 251 million in 2015.

Their remittances in 2015 were USD$601 billion over (TOP$ 1 trillion), out of which developing countries, Tonga included received USD$441b (TOP$9 billion), which is three times the amount of foreign aid they get from official agencies.

Pacific Island Countries(PICs) get a bigger slice on a per capita basis. In the absence of a wide range of exportable goods to earn foreign exchange, greater labour mobility is an effective alternative. Labour mobility from PICs helps to meet the shortage of unskilled labour in advanced countries to work on farms.

Thanks to increased globalization, more islanders are now working in developed countries than ever before as doctors, lawyers, accountants, nurses and of course rugby players. In addition, unskilled workers under Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program and New Zealand Recognized Seasonal Employer Scheme, about 12,000 from PICs have been benefited during last seven years.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016