Remittances, Migration & the Trump Effect: The Press Asks Questions

“It is the migrant, most of the time forgotten, who is sustaining the economy”
Diario La Hora – Guatemala – Jan 20, 2017

Hugo Cuevas Mohr, director of IMTC (International Money Transfer Conferences), has worked for years advising bank and non-bank institutions on international money transfers, payments and remittances. In preparation for the IMTC regional forum that will be held in Antigua, Guatemala in March 8-10, he visited the country to talk about migration and remittances, in a moment where the appointment of Donald Trump as President of the United States has brought the subject to the foreground.

Cuevas-Mohr warned that countries in the Central American region and Mexico should not wait to take preventive measures that could protect migrants should US authorities push for legal changes that affect them.

Remesas, Migración y el Efecto Trump: La Prensa Pregunta

“Es el migrante, muchas veces olvidado, el que está financiando toda la economía”
Diario La Hora – Guatemala – Ene 20, 2017
Remesas se incrementaron por incertidumbre tras victoria de Trump

Hugo Cuevas Mohr, director de IMTC (Internacional Money Transfer Conferences), ha trabajado durante años asesorando a empresas bancarias y no bancarias sobre los asuntos de transferencias de dinero y remesas. Previamente al foro regional de IMTC que se llevará a cabo en la Antigua Guatemala en marzo, visitó el país para hablar sobre migración y remesas en el contexto del nombramiento de Donald Trump como presidente de los Estados Unidos. Cuevas-Mohr advierte que los países de la región centroamericana y México no deben esperar para tomar medidas preventivas que puedan proteger a los migrantes en caso de que las autoridades estadounidenses impulsen cambios legales que los afecten.

Remittances to the South Asia Region (SAR)

In his latest Remittances & Development Brief dated April 2016, Mr. Ratha and his team and the World Bank Migration and Remittances Team commented that remittances to the South Asia Region (SAR) are estimated to have grown moderately in 2015 by around 2%. The continued economic uncertainty of high-income remittance-source countries and the impact that oil prices have had on remittance flows from GCC countries have certainly impacted a more favorable outlook for 2016 and beyond. Maybe the improving economic prospects in the United States and the increase in oil prices, plus the continued spending on developments projects in the GCC countries and the brighter outlook for the economic improvement of their countries- which makes migrants invest in their home countries, can make the reported remittance volumes grow.

LEBANON: Remittance Inflows & Outflows

Remittances of Lebanese expatriates increased from USD $7.86B in 2013 to $8.9B in 2014, up 13.2%. The World Bank attributed the increase in remittances in part to those sent to Syrian refugees in Lebanon by their relatives abroad. Although the data for outflows from the country has only been published until June 2014, in 2013 it reached a level very close to 5 Billion USD (same level in 2009, maximum ever recorded).

Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013

On February 27, 2014 at the Interamerican Dialogue in Washington D.C.  remittance expert Manuel Orozco presented his yearly analysis of the volume of remittances entitled “Current Perspectives on Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013” and a PDF version of his briefing can be viewed/downloaded at the end of this short note. The paper considers the possible impact of immigration reform in the US on remittances and on the lives of migrants.

In 2013, family remittances to the region experienced little growth for most of the major remittance recipient countries. This may be a byproduct of immigration controls and deportations, demography, regulatory constraints and a slow recovery from the recession. Remittances have not grown substantially from 2012 and the total volume to the region was 60 billion, slightly decreasing by 1%. Manuel divides the results for the year in three groups:

Why Has the Level of Remittances to Latam Stagnated in 2013?

The Latin America Advisor, an excellent publication by the Interamerican Dialogue in Washington D.C. asked this question for its Feb. 6-19, 2014 issue as a preview of the release of Manuel Orozco’s document on remittances to the region that will be presented February 27, 2014 at the Dialogue. Overall remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean were flat in 2013 as compared to 2012. A few countries, including Bolivia, Honduras and Guatemala saw significant growth, while remittances decreased to countries including Mexico and Brazil. You can view/download this issue of the Latin American Advisor to read  Manuel Orozco’s insightful comments, as well as comments by Earl Jarret from the Jamaica National Building Society, Mario Trujillo, CEO of Dolex Dollar Express and Hugo Cuevas-Mohr of IMTC/Mohr World Consulting.