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.



Introduction: Opportunities and challenges for mobilizing the potential of developing country diasporas

Increasing attention is being given in both public and private forums to the issue of how the growing diasporas from the developing world could promote development in their homelands. Indeed, diaspora involvement in development opportunities in the homeland has increased significantly during the past decade. When discussing diaspora contributions to development, most observers tend to refer to the impact of remittances. Yet the influence of diasporas extends well beyond remittances. In particular, diaspora entrepreneurship has witnessed dramatic and exciting developments in recent years, with successful entrepreneurs in the North expanding their business reach to their home developing countries, bringing along with them capital, technology and market knowledge. This has been most visible in certain high-technology sectors and in other areas such as pharmaceuticals.


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