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Economy

ASEAN migrant remittances equal to Myanmar GDP

Labor mobility a financial lifeline for poorer regions

Myanmar migrant workers sort shrimp at a wholesale seafood market in Mahachai, in Samut Sakhon province, Thailand.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Vast differences in living standards and wages across Southeast Asia have driven a massive rise in migration in the region since the mid-1990s, resulting in an estimated 6.77 million migrant workers sending home substantial chunks of their often meager wages to support families in poorer areas.

According to a World Bank report released Monday, in 2015 Southeast Asian migrants sent around $62 billion worth of remittances to their home countries. That amount is almost the same as the gross domestic product of Myanmar for the same year and around three times Cambodia's.

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