Mobilizing the MENA Diaspora for Economic Integration and Entrepreneurship
The paper that was presented at this seminar provides evidence that MENA diaspora have the potential to foster trade, investment, and technology transfer in the region. It advocates for the need to rally the MENA professional and skilled diaspora for home countries’ economic integration and entrepreneurship. It particularly discusses the findings of a unique outreach exercise to the MENA diaspora and provides recommendations for governments and development agencies. The MENA diaspora can be an important catalyst and partner for governments and development institutions to foster cooperation, development, globalization, regional integration, and entrepreneurship in the MENA region. The actions of a few could make a difference. Diaspora members, in particular professionals and skilled individuals, are a critical human capital asset for their home countries and the MENA region as a whole. According to official United Nations data, approximately 20 million MENA citizens live abroad, representing 5 percent of the population of the region, a much larger proportion than the world average. If only 1 percent of the MENA diaspora were mobilized, that would mean tapping into the expertise and network of 200,000 professionals, which is significant.
Mariem Malouche, Senior Economist, MENA region, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice
Chair: Klaus Tilmes, Director, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice