Bank Al-Maghreb, governor of the Central Bank of Morocco, says European countries are increasingly tightening controls on remittances from Moroccans living abroad (MRE). Amina Jagnouf, financial expert and co-founder of the Association ” I am indebted to Africa“It simply came to our notice then.
Le Courrier de l’Atlas: You work on the role of money transfers in “Je m’engage pour l’Afrique”. Why are they important to countries and immigrants?
Amina Jagnouf : This is a special economic flow. Money transfers make it possible to cultivate the place of immigrants in the development of a country. Their weight in the economy is enormous. This represents 33.8% of Gambia’s GDP, 15.6% for Cape Verde or 12.3% for the Comoros. For years, they were a little neglected and hated. Today, however, this financial downturn is more than just growth aid. It will save the lives of the people there.
Govt has destabilized the world economy. Was the money transfer affected?
Amina Jagnouf : At the time of Kovit’s appearance, in March 2020, all stores that allowed transfers were considered non-essential. The World Bank also warned that they were in danger. By easing health conditions and opening up boundaries, we see an explosion in these transfers. In times of crisis or inflation, they increase. All the diaspora saved during this Govt. Period have sent them back to their families. Immigrants use the legal route instead of going home. For me, this is a kind of capture.
>> Read more: Morocco. Remittances through MREs are on the rise
Europe has recently tried to curb these money transfers. Why operate on an already highly regulated path?
Amina Jagnouf : European action is particularly contradictory. Reducing commissions on money transfers is part of the sustainable development goals secured by Europe, the World Bank and the IMF. At the same time, we see financial conservatism in some countries, such as France, Belgium and the Netherlands. They try to find all the accounts held by their compatriots abroad under the guise of anti-money laundering. However, the rules are already very strict (Basel 3, Basel 4, etc.). We drown in a glass of water. In fact, transfers are already highly monitored. We deal with collective fear, but we also deal with election matters that turn sour during elections.
Has money transfer not become an excuse to attack the diaspora?
Amina Jagnouf : This is the old bandit of the far right. They strengthen the electorate in the same way that a foreigner accumulates wealth in France and leaves his home country. It’s part of the nauseating discourse of French and European politics. It is recommended that immigrants benefit and not contribute to national wealth, which is completely false. Behind this idea, we recommend that only Arabs and blacks use these dependencies. This is not the reality. All communities coming to Europe (Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese) also use this remittance. This should not be seen as a relentless act against North African communities in particular.
Do we know the distribution of these financial transactions?
Amina Jagnouf : Mostly for family reasons. This is done person to person. These are small sums used to meet urgent needs (medical, shopping or school fees). The average ticket is 250 to 300 euros. Transfers over ரோ 3000 are small. As a general rule, we carry out international banking transactions regulated by banking authorities. An immigrant can exchange an average of 1500 to 2000 euros a year. This is a block game of small size that can make a difference. This should not be seen as an unreliable financial transaction.
>> Read more: Morocco. Only 10% of MRE transfers go to investment
The idea of hardening is to fight against money laundering and tax evasion. A European FATCA (The Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)) Is a U.S. law designed to identify “American individuals” who use foreign accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes). Is this possible in Europe?
Amina Jagnouf : This seems complicated to me when you look at the difficulty Americans have in setting this up. Tightening the restrictions on sending money will push them towards illegality. When faced with an emergency, they will find ways to send money through informal channels, rather than traditional channels. This will lead to the opposite effect and we can no longer control this economic flow. The implementation of the European FATCA would be a major blow to all foreigners in Europe, regardless of their professional status or qualifications. This makes the idea of an immigrant and attractive country France unacceptable. France wants to recruit technology and innovation profiles. These come from Morocco, Tunisia, India and China. If we continue to screw up, these profiles will go somewhere else, to the US or other flexible countries.
Spain implements the demand for a “proper appearance of funds”. Only for this country?
Amina Jagnouf : All countries do. You need to know where the money is coming from and to whom it is going. The roofs are different. In France, for example, when it exceeds 3000 euros, tax authorities will ask your beneficiaries (descendants or descendants) for proof of your assistance. If we start doing it for 50 or 100 euros, it will become a monumental gas plant in terms of bureaucracy and management. Delays in transfers will push people towards the informal sector, which will be easier and more accessible. It is natural to want to know the origin and purpose, but you must use general knowledge in quantities and conditions.
>> Read more: Amina Jagnouf: “Money transfers can be more rewarding”
Is there a lack of confidence in Europe over the financial and banking institutions of Morocco or African countries?
Amina Jagnouf : I am afraid of this sentimental comment about the relations we have with France or European countries. In fact, we are not the only ones bothered by this question. Financial transactions are international (see box). This should not be seen as a personal attack. Any movement that does not fully control it must be understood as the conservatism of European banking and financial institutions. In conclusion, this is not a distrust of our companies, but a European option to control everything.
650 billion money transactions in the world by 2020
According to the World Bank, remittances are estimated at $ 650 billion a year by 2020. India ($ 83 billion) is followed by Mexico (42), the Philippines (34) and Egypt (29). Did not leave the European countries. France received 25 billion, more than China (18.9), Germany 17.8, Vietnam (17) and Belgium 12 billion. Money in 2020, (7) more than in Morocco. According to InformedRemittances increased by 7.3% compared to 2020. For Magreb, there is an increase of 15.2% due to the growth of the Eurozone. According to the African Institute of Remittance, remittances from African immigrants reached $ 65 billion, doubling the official development assistance from donors to Africa to $ 29 billion.
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