The Central Bank (CB) projects Sri Lanka’s outward labour migration to recover to around 120,000 persons this year from the sharp decline recorded in 2020.
CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal revealed that 96,000 individuals departed the country for employment in the first eleven months of the year.
Outward labour migration declined sharply by 73.6 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 53,713 persons in 2020, with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide.
In addition, around 40,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers had been repatriated to the country amid job losses and contract expiration in the first half of 2020 alone.
“In December, 20,000-25,000 outward labour migrations are possible,” he noted. However, these figures were still below 203,087 labour departures seen in 2019.
In the first 10 months of this year, remittance inflows to the country had declined by 13.8 percent YoY to US$ 4.89 billion.
According to the World Bank, remittance inflows are forecasted to decline by 6.2 percent to pre-pandemic levels of US$ 6.7 billion this year.