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Nov 11

How diaspora networks, migration and technology are changing the global economy

This week’s Economist magazine has two great articles on diaspora and how migrants impact the flow of commerce around the world – and how technology has change the importance of migrant networks: Weaving the World Together and The Magic of Diasporas. As part of two diaspora communities myself, I found it all a very interesting read. The focus is mostly on Chinese and Indian diaspora, but strangely virtually no mention about Jewish diaspora.

The creativity of migrants is enhanced by their ability to enroll collaborators both far-off and nearby. In Silicon Valley, more than half of Chinese and Indian scientists and engineers share tips about technology or business opportunities with people in their home countries, according to AnnaLee Saxenian of the University of California, Berkeley. A study by the Kauffman Foundation, a think-tank, found that 84% of returning Indian entrepreneurs maintain at least monthly contact with family and friends in America, and 66% are in contact at least that often with former colleagues. For entrepreneurs who return to China, the figures are 81% and 55%. The subjects they talk about most are customers (61% of Indians and 74% of Chinese mention this), markets (62% of Indians, 71% of Chinese), technical information (58% of Indians, 68% of Chinese) and business funding (31% of Indians, 54% of Chinese). …

Shrewd firms are taking notice. China’s high-tech industry is dominated by returnees from abroad, such as Robin Li and Eric Xu, the founders of Baidu, China’s leading search engine. Asked how many of his top people had worked or studied abroad, N. Chandrasekaran, the boss of Tata Consulting Services, a big Indian IT firm, replies: “All of them.”


  12:42pm  •  Business & Finance  •  Culture  •   •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment

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