The close relationship between economic development and migration has been recognized for some time. In recent years, however, there has been a shift in thinking about the relationship between migration and development. Traditionally, migration was seen as a problem with negative implications for development. Today, there is a growing recognition that migration and migrants can enhance a country's development. One of the factors which contributed to this change in thinking is the growing recognition of the importance of remittances.
In 2003, gross flows to developing countries amounted to US$ 142 billion, compared to US$ 18.4 billion in 1980. The annual average figure increased from US$ 7.8 million in 1975-79 to a recorded total of US$ 98 billion in 1998-2003. According to the World Bank, international remittances received by developing countries were expected to reach US$ 167 billion in 2005 - a more than ninefold increase over the past 25 years. Given the importance of this topic, IOM is pleased to be able to co-sponsor the publication of this new study by Bimal Ghosh with The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration.