Expats in Bahrain send Rs 94 billion home every year

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Dubai, Mar 23 (UNI) Expats living in Bahrain are sending home more than 2.5 billion dollar every year, according to a top Bahraini economist.

This is more than double the estimated 1.3 billion dollar being remitted by foreigners from Bahrain in 2001, the Gulf Global Economic Consultancy Chairman Hussain Al Mahdi was quoted as saying to Gulf Daily News.

The chairman also believes that the kingdom will be dependent on foreign labour for a long time to come.

Nearly two lakh of seven lakh population of Bahrain are from India and Indians account for the largest expat segment, and therefore majority of the fund flow is to India.

''It is estimated that development projects being carried out in Bahrain in the coming 10 years will be valued at more than 30 billion dollar,'' Dr Al Mahdi said, adding ''The region will continue to be hit by a shortage of supply to meet the increasing demand.'' Although the labour market reforms are aimed at creating at least 10,000 new jobs for Bahrainis every year, he said more than 80 per cent of them now go to foreigners. He added that employment figures showed an increase from 248,483 in 2003 to 378,471 last year, but the percentage of Bahrainis in the private sector was decreasing.

''However, the share of expatriates increased during the same period from 70.8 per cent to 80.4 per cent.

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