Overseas Pakistani remitted $18.454 billion to Pakistan in the financial year 2014-15, giving a major boost to the country’s foreign exchange reserves, according to a latest report.
Overseas remittances in the year that ended June 30 showed a significant growth of 16.5 percent. Pakistan in the preceding year received $15.87 billion in remittances from overseas Pakistanis, according to the latest report by the State Bank of Pakistan.
Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia sent the most money — $536 million – in 2014-15, while remittances from the U.S. were recorded at $258.94 million. The remittances from U.S. were $222.34 million in the preceding year to that.
The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is focusing on building foreign reserves which rose to a record high of $18.5 billion on July 1.
In September, 2013, IMF bailed out Pakistan with a $6.6 billion loan package after the country nearly defaulted on its external payments. The IMF Executive Board this week successfully completed the 7th review under the 3-year Extended Fund Facility, resulting in an immediate release of $506 million out of the loan.
MSCI, an international investment research firm, said in June it was adding Pakistan to its review list for a potential re-classification to Emerging markets from frontier markets as part of the 2016 Annual Market Classification Review.
Emerging markets refer to countries which do not have economic strength of countries like the U.S. or Japan but are seen as being in the process of establishing a more mature marketplace. Frontier markets are categorized as the riskiest markets in the world to invest.