A Comprehensive analysis of remittances: Sri Lanka

The publication is an outcome of a study undertaken under the Labour Migration Policy Project (Phase III) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It is envisaged that the findings contribute to an evidence base on remittances to Sri Lanka useful for the foreign employment and financial sectors. Specifically to contribute to reducing cost of remittances in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 10.c) to reduce remittance cost to 3 percent of remittance amount.

The objective of the study was to help understand remittances to Sri Lanka, specifically its use, costs and accessability. It analysed the regulatory environment , the merits and de merits of formal and informal remittance channels; and highlighted regional initiatives and good practices on remittance sending and receiving. The study recommends that: interactions between banks and Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) be improved, Fintech be adopted; and mobilie money transfers to be promoted as a cheaper channel. Recommendations also include a range of activities to improve remittance management at the household leve including the need to factor gender dimensions in financial management training and awareness programs as women play an important role in decisions on how remittance funds are spent. Finally, it highlights the need for reliable and up-to-date data on remittances.