Drain Gain

Brain drain has its upside says a new UN Economic and Social Survey, contributing generously to a developing countries external reserves. Brain drain has its upside says a new UN Economic and Social Survey, contributing generously to a developing countries external reserves. Sri Lanka’s private remittance adds up to about 7.75% of GDP, ranking it with the top 20% of GDP to remittance ratios among developing countries.

In 2003, Sri Lankan’s living abroad sent home US$ 1.41 billion, up from US$ 1.28 billion in the previous year.

Globally, that number adds up to over US$ 130 billion (available statistics), higher than official development assistance (ODA) from donor agencies and countries.

The UN report says the figure is likely to be much higher, with data on remittances incomplete and “almost certainly underestimate the true magnitude of such transfers because they do not accurately reflect funds flowing through informal channels.”

Sri Lanka’s billing from private remittances are however lower against neighbors India (over US$ 8 bn), Pakistan (about US$ 4 bn) and Bangladesh (about US$ 3 bn).

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