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Project News: Virtual exchange on EU-India Remittance Corridor and COVID-19

29 June 2020


On the 18th June 2020, during International Remittance Week, the EU-India CDMM project, implemented by ICMPD and the International Labour Organisation ILO, facilitated a virtual exchange on the EU-India remittance corridor, bringing together policymakers from the Government of India and the European Commission, EU Member State development agencies, international organisations, academia, and the private sector.

Special consideration was paid to the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic, recovery plans, and challenges faced by migrant workers within the EU-India remittance corridor. The exchange represented the second, in a series of webinars planned for 2020, to help sustain dialogue between the European Union and the Government of India. Each event is founded upon joint policy objectives within the field of migration and mobility as outlined in the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM). 

The programme begun with Ms. Sedef Dearing, ICMPD’s Regional Coordinator for South Asia, welcoming all participants and speakers. Her remarks were followed by an expert panel, co-chaired by Mr. Pieyush Gupta, Director at Overseas Indian Affairs -1, Ministry of External Affairs, and Mr. Erwan Marteil, Head of the Migration Section, DG International Cooperation and Development. 

 

The invited speakers included:

  • Mr. Heliodoro Temprano Arroyo, European Commission
  • Mr. Harish Natarajan, World Bank
  • Mr. Pedro De Vasconcelos, International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • EU Member States (Belgium and France) Development Agencies
  • Dr. Rupa Chanda, IIM Bangalore
  • Mr. Rajeev Jain and Mr. Dhirendra Gajbhiye, Reserve Bank of India
  • Mr. Leon Isaacs, DMA Global

Participants engaged in active discussions addressing the following topics:

  • How can we best assess the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on remittance flows between the EU and India (volatility, operational disruptions)?
  • Which challenges did - and do - migrant workers from India in the EU face related to sending remittances home (high transaction costs/financial inclusion/dearth of digital solutions)?
  • Which practices exist in EU Member States to maximise the developmental impact of remittances in countries of origin (specifically, improved transparency via platforms for diaspora on remittance costs, hotlines, increased investment in digital solutions)?
  • Which bilateral agreements are in place and how can we enhance cooperation within them on remittances?
  • What is the role of the private sector?

A report summarising the two-hour exchange, highlighting key findings, and offering future collaboration channels, is in the works by ICMPD and will be disseminated to relevant policy and political representatives.