(Ejaz Ghani is an economist who has worked for the World Bank and taught at Oxford University. This column first appeared in The Hindu Business Line on August 2, 2021)
- India has the largest diaspora in the world with 18 million people living outside their homeland. The relationship between diaspora, home country, and new country is complex, and it is still evolving. It can raise sentiments of distrust, envy, and resentment. But, the diaspora is also a lifeline to many, as global remittances exceed foreign direct investment inflows. Diaspora networking has also accelerated knowledge and technological diffusion. Global development institutions are exploring how diaspora bonds can be used as new instruments for development. Although the share of migrants in the world’s population has remained mostly stable for six decades, its composition has changed. The share of high-skilled migrants relative to low-skilled migrants has grown dramatically during the last decade. Nearly 75 per cent of all high-skilled migrants reside in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. More than 70 per cent of software engineers in Silicon Valley are foreign-born.
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