Friday, 9 November 2007

Savings for migrant workers

From le journal développement durable.

The amount of money sent by migrant workers in France back to their families is roughly the same as the aid France donates for development. In an effort to make the most of this money, so increasing its productivity, the French government is promoting "co-development savings accounts".

The transfer of this money is often a major source of foreign currency for the most underprivileged regions. According to the World Bank money sent, for example, by Malians living in France has enabled 60% of the building done in the Kayes region of Mali. However 80% of the money sent home is used by families for their day to day needs.

To encourage the use of these new savings accounts, savers will have a 25% tax exemption as long as they are reserved for future investment (eg micro-credit, enterprise start-up) in their country of origin.

A study in the UK during 2005 revealed that up to 40% was sometimes charged by banks for the transfer of money overseas, leading to the set-up of SendingMoneyHome, supported by the Department for International Development. The French government will be setting up a similar website showing comparisons of charges so that people can make their decisions. Assuming of course that they have internet access.


  1. I find all your African posts so interesting and thought provoking, It would be good if other countries could do this too.

  2. A,
    During a two hour drive the other day, I was listening to a public radio show concerning diaspora and remittances, and how this money is really the backbone of many economies in the developing world. Some of the statistics were eye-opening (25% of the Philippines work force is overseas somewhere). Here are a couple of links from the show which you might find interesting. It was a fascinating discussion.

    If these don't work, the website for the radio station is

  3. Elaine, thanks. I'm glad you find the posts interesting.

    janeway, I am this very minute listening to the program on line. I thought it would be an excerpt but it seems to be the whole thing. Very, very interesting so thatms for the links.


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