The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) revealed the size of remittances from Egyptians working abroad registered $8bn during the period from November 2016 to March 2017, a 13.8% increase of $964.8m compared to the period from November 2015 to March 2016.
Remittances of Egyptians working abroad is one of the essential resources of foreign exchange to Egypt, as Egypt is one of the most prominent countries receiving remittances, and occupied the sixth position among the middle-income countries receiving remittances in recent years.
The CBE explained in a statement issued on Tuesday morning that the size of remittances amounted to $1.6bn in March 2017, compared to $1.5bn in March 2016—an increase of $100m.
The total remittances from Egyptians working abroad during the 2014/2015 fiscal year was roughly $19bn, but half of them were being sold on the informal market before the liberalisation of the exchange rate, whereas remittances entered banks following the decision.
Some people consider these remittances as a lifeline for Egypt and a rapid solution to exit from the lack of foreign exchange that Egypt has been suffering from for several years, which declined following the flotation of the pound.
Over the past years, many initiatives have emerged to urge Egyptians abroad to support the state in overcoming the shortage of foreign currency by selling the dollar to banks instead of to the informal market.
None of these initiatives received a response from Egyptians before the liberalisation of the exchange rate, as there was a difference between the official price of the dollar in banks and in the informal market that reached EGP 8 and more.
This has changed after the flotation of the pound and the disappearance of the informal market for the currency, as most remittances now enter the banking sector.