Diaspora Capital and Economic Development

Countries that are connected through a sizeable population of migrants and their descendants often have strong trade flows. The channels through which this trade is facilitated include direct capital investment in businesses in the country of origin or ancestry, and the development of migrant or diaspora-owned enterprises in countries of residence. Diaspora communities also promote trade by creating demand for products from their localities of origin. Diaspora groups thus often promote trade and investment in their communities of origin and advocate for policies that stimulate bilateral trade. While such ‘nostalgia’ products can remain a niche market linked to consumers within the diaspora, they can also become mainstreamed when members of the host community are exposed to them through diaspora businesses or simply interpersonal interactions. Similarly, transnational communities are an important consumer market for tourism-related industries in their countries of origin and advocates for tourism among their social networks in their countries of residence. This section is dedicated to spotlighting diaspora and migrant community contributions to trade, entrepreneurship and investment. Here are some guiding questions to foster the dialogue:

  • What are the barriers to you investing in or doing business between the country you live in and the countries that you come from?
  • What are the most suitable investment vehicles (financial and otherwise) to ensure active diaspora participation in job creation in countries of origin and destination?
  • How can technology and innovation be engaged to spur economic development for diaspora communities in countries of origin and destination?
  • How can we encourage diaspora contributions to national development?

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