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Wednesday , April 21 2021

COVID-19 drives exodus of expatriates from GCC – Remittances see decline

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: The population of the Gulf Cooperation Council member states decreased by about four percent last year as a result of the exodus of expatriates following the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis and the decline in oil prices, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

In a report issued by the credit rating agency S & P Global, it was stated that, “There will be a continued decline in the volume of expatriates in the region until 2023, relative to the number of citizens, due to the decline in the growth of the non-oil sector and the nationalization policies.” S&P Global indicated the unlikeliness that the total population of the GCC countries will return to the 2019 level of 57.6 million before 2023.

It stated, “These changes may have repercussions on the regional economy and pose additional challenges for diversification away from its heavy reliance on the hydrocarbon sector in the long term, if they are not matched by economic and social reforms that take care of human capital.” S&P Global added, “The largest decline in the population last year occurred in Dubai, where the impact of the pandemic on major employment sectors such as aviation, tourism and retail led to a population decline of 8.4 percent.”

Meanwhile, remittances of Filipino workers in Kuwait decreased in 2020 by 23.5 percent ($178.4 million) from $759 million at the end of 2019 to $ 580.6 million. The remittances of Filipino workers in the Gulf countries decreased by 11.21 percent in 2020 to reach $ 5.1 billion, compared to $ 5.76 billion in 2019.

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