EUR 5 billion of foreign remittances in Serbia last year

Every year, more than a million people in Serbia receive money from the diaspora, with around five billion euros sent to the country from relatives abroad last year, slightly more than the amount of foreign direct investments made that year.

Traditionally, the biggest amount of money was sent from Germany, where a large part of our diaspora lives.

According to data from the National Bank of Serbia, the amount of remittances from abroad that arrived in Serbia during 2023 amounted to 4.99 billion euros. This amount is similar to the record year of 2022 when it exceeded five billion euros, representing a 37.5 percent increase compared to 2021 and a 60.2 percent increase compared to 2020 when remittance inflows were 3.63 billion euros and 3.12 billion euros, respectively.

Remittances include pensions and other social benefits, as well as aid and gifts from abroad sent to individuals residing in Serbia.

NBS data shows that remittances from the diaspora last year again surpassed the total value of foreign investments, by almost half a billion euros. Total foreign investments amounted to 4.5 billion euros last year, which is also the expected amount for this year.

As for remittances received in 2024, they are at a similar level as in the same period in 2023. According to NBS data, in the first four months of this year, remittance inflows amounted to 1.62 billion euros, about one percent more than in the same period last year.

Remittances account for about eight percent of GDP. As in previous years, most remittances came from countries where the largest part of the Serbian population traditionally lives: Germany (27 percent), Switzerland (13 percent), Austria (10 percent), France (6 percent), and Croatia (5 percent).

As for the number of people receiving money from abroad, the Register of Remittance Users records a total of 1.5 million users who received money and about 754,000 payment service users who sent money. However, these are only data on remittance users who made transactions through global quick money transfer services, such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, etc., and do not include personal transfers made through bank accounts.

(Bloomberg Adria, 10.07.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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