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It is often nice to indulge in simplifying generalisations. For example "Ecuadorians abroad invest in property in their home country. Peruvians spend income from relatives abroad on basics." But is this supported by the data?

Remittances (remesas - money sent home by Peruvians abroad), as Minkanews (Minkapedia) has pointed out over the last few years, have become a significant input into the Peruvian economy. This “money sent home by Peruvians abroad” is likely to hit $4 billion – or $143 per capita per year, about a month’s income for some people - by 2009.

However (to be negative for a moment)economists point out that this is not a net gain as the international value of the Peruvian Sol currency will be strengthened, which in turn most probably will have a marginal negative knock-on effect on Peruvian exports.

As many as 3.5 million Peruvians receive remittances – presumably friends and relatives of the 3.2 million Peruvians said to be living abroad – so the average remittances per year are likely to be $1140 by 2009 for the families that actually receive them. Sixty percent of the remittance is used to pay for basic housing and food. 20% goes on education. Only a small proportion (said to be much higher in Ecuador) goes on investing in property – the dream of many a Peruvian living abroad in what has come to be known as the Peruvian diaspora.

The Peruvian economy has just received the accolade of a higher credit rating (BBB-) in international capital markets and is seemingly managing to diversify away from dependence on the exports – even entreguismo - of primary raw materials. However many observers maintain that both Peru and Ecuador will not really have “turned the corner” until a higher proportion of the workforce is employed in the “knowledge sector”. Here also the diaspora – those living abroad – can help out by remitting not just cash, helpful as that is, but also some of their experience and knowledge as well.

Data sources[]

The main data comes from the IDB, the Inter-American Development Bank.

You can comment on this article and amend and update it online at Minkapedia - if you are reading this online you are probably already in the Minkapedia section of the Opentext Journal of Peruvian or Latin American Studies.

The stub for this article was transferred from Minkanews 4 April, 2008. Please help improve this article.