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Over US$2 billion expected to be generated this year in diaspora remittances

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

DIASPORA remittances are expected to reach over US$2 billion this year, riding on increased confidence in the economy by Zimbabweans abroad.

Zimbabweans living and working abroad are heeding the government’s call towards investing back home after the country received over US$1,7 billion from diaspora inflows during the just-ended year.

The trend has seen remittances becoming the second largest foreign currency inflow unit after exports.

Development Economist Dr Prosper Chitambara believes if fully utilised, the diaspora inflows will positively impact overall socio-economic development.

“The general trend is that the diaspora remittances form a key component of socio-economic development, taking into account the positive benefits arising from the remittances it is clear that the inflows can also emerge as an important element in driving the positive economic trajectory and generating more foreign currency,” he said.

Buy Zimbabwe General Manager Mr Alois Burutsa explains the importance of the diaspora remittances on increasing production and consumption of locally-produced goods.

“The country might have lost critical workers or skills that are of greater importance within the economy, but it is imperative to note that there are also benefits accruing from such a trend that is manifesting into increased spending and inflows to sustain industry and commerce,” he said.

Official central bank information reveals that South Africa is dominating the total remittances, accounting for over 40 percent, followed by the United Kingdom at 25 percent, the United States of America contributing 11 percent and Australia at six percent, among others.

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