Realizing the Development Potential of Diasporas

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In this book, international experts including academics, policymakers, private sector practitioners, and representatives of diaspora communities further our understanding of how the growing population of expatriates from the developing world can be effectively leveraged to promote development in their homelands. The contributors cover issues relating to diaspora diversity and its impact on development, the potential of expatriates to further entrepreneurship and business development in their homelands, the effectiveness of remittances in furthering inclusive development, and policies to better engage diasporas as drivers of development. Their analyses are supported by examples and case studies focusing on the experiences of specific diaspora networks, home country institutions promoting diaspora engagement, migrant entrepreneurs, and financial institutions facilitating remittances.



Policies to strengthen diaspora investment and entrepreneurship: Cross-national perspectives

Reciting a quote by the renowned Mauritian poet in an address on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day) in New York City in 2007, Mr Vayalar Ravi, India’s Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, eloquently described the economic development expectations he holds for diaspora investment and entrepreneurship in his country. But India is not alone in holding high hopes for diaspora involvement in home-country development. In a 2005 survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 92 per cent of countries indicated they possess policies and programmes targeting their diasporas abroad for homecountry development purposes (IOM 2005: 205). The challenge for governments, utilizing the metaphor from the above quotation, is successfully to encourage the diaspora to “touch and turn the stone” by stimulating interest in economic involvement in their country of origin and to help them “turn the stone into gold” by providing diaspora investors and entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to transform their ideas into successful economic initiatives.


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