The recent statistics of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) shows an increase in the remittances of expatriates in 2020, which reached KD5.3 billion — about 14.5 percent higher than in 2019 when remittances totaled KD4.62 billion, reports Al- Anba daily. In 2020, there was a sharp decline in spending due to the corona pandemic; while remittances in the third and fourth quarters increased remarkably. According to data, remittances in the first quarter reached KD1.35 billion, KD1.05 billion in the second quarter, KD1.4 billion in the third quarter and KD1.47 billion in the fourth quarter.
Expatriates sent more money to their home countries in spite of the repercussions of the pandemic; such as the loss of jobs for thousands of expatriates and reduction of salaries for some, leading to lower remittances in the first and second quarters. In the third and fourth quarters, many expatriates sent their families back to their home countries; hence, they started transferring a bulk of their income to their families. Thousands of expatriates also left Kuwait permanently, so they transferred their savings to their home countries as Kuwait does not offer any investment opportunity for expatriates. Curfews and closure of restaurants could also be the reasons for lower spending among expatriates, prompting them to remit their money to their home countries. In addition, they did not travel during the summer break last year./agencies