The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has revealed that remittances from expatriate Egyptians recorded an increase of $2.8bn in 2020, reflecting a growth rate of 10.5%, to record about $29.6bn.
In a statement on Monday, the CBE said that this compared to the $26.8bn sent home by expatriates in 2019.
It added that the data showed an increase of about $529.2m in those transfers during the period from October to December 2020. This ensured that the amount of transfers recorded about $7.5bn in the time period, compared to about $7bn during the period from October to December 2019.
The remittances of workers abroad are one of the most important sources of foreign exchange for the state. Egypt occupies an advanced position among the largest recipient countries of these remittances in the world.
The Oxford Economics Foundation expects remittances from workers abroad around the world to recover in 2021 to the levels seen prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a report, the foundation stated that remittances have not decreased to the extent that had initially been feared at first during the pandemic. Remittances are an important source of external financing for low and middle-income countries.
The CBE recently revealed that the balance of foreign currencies included in the foreign exchange (FX) reserves increased by about $363m to about $35.905bn in February 2021. This compared to the $35.542bn recorded in January 2021.
The CBE said that Egypt’s FX reserves recorded $40.200bn in February 2021, compared to $40.100bn in January 2021, an increase of about $100m.
Banking expert Mohamed Abdel Aal said that the increase in reserves indicates that the traditional sources of foreign exchange, including remittances, are running within their normal rates with the exception of revenues from tourism.