Gulf Cooperation Council Current Affairs - 2019
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Saudi Arabia has become 1st Arab country to be granted full membership of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) following FATF’s Annual General Meeting held in Orlando, Florida in United States (US).
Saudi Arabia and FATF
Background: Since November 2004, Saudi Arabia has been a founding member of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) arm of FATF group. At the beginning of 2015 Saudi Arabia had received an invitation from FATF as an observer member.
Now, the kingdom’s accession came as global money laundering watchdog celebrated 30th anniversary of its 1st meeting held in Paris (France) in 1989.
The full membership to Saudi Arabia comes after it was reported that Kingdom had made tangible progress for its efforts in implementing FATF’s guidelines.
What is FATF?
It was established in 1989, with headquarters in Paris, France.
Members: FATF comprises of 37-member jurisdictions and 2 Regional Organisations namely Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European Commission (EC). With kingdom becoming a FATF member, the number of permanent members in group is now 39.
FATF Plenary: is FATF’s decision making body. It meets three times per year.
Function: The Financial Action Task Force is an international group responsible for issuing international standards, policies and best practices for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation and other related threats to integrity of international financial system.
Recent Developments: FATF has notified that Pakistan failed to complete its action plan on terror financing and has strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 or else face consequences.
As per the report of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, India has retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances (money sent back home by its nationals working abroad) in 2018.
World Bank Report on Remittances
- Indian diaspora has sent $79 billion (approximately Rs 5.5 lakh crore) home.
- The Remittances grew by more than 14% in India.
- A flooding disaster in Kerala has likely boosted the financial help that migrants sent to families.
- India received $ 62.7 billion remittances in 2016 and it was $65.3 billion in 2017.
- India was followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion) and Egypt ($29 billion),
- Remittances to low-and-middle-income countries rose 9.6% from 2017 and touched a record high of $529 billion in 2018.
- Global remittances reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017.
- Remittances to South Asia grew 12% to $131 billion in 2018.
- The upsurge in remittances was driven by stronger economic conditions in the United States.
- The pick-up in oil prices had a positive impact on outward remittances from some GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries.
- Excluding China, remittances to low and middle-income countries ($462 billion) were significantly larger than foreign direct investment flows in 2018 ($344 billion).
Gulf Cooperation Council
Gulf Cooperation Council is s a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Tags: Asia • Bahrain • China • Egypt • GCC • Gulf Cooperation Council • Indian Diaspora • Kerala • Kuwait • Mexico • Migration and Development Brief • Oman • Philippines • Qatar • Remittances • Saudi Arabia • UAE • United Arab Emirates • USA • World Bank