New lands in horizon for Diaspora

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Mumbai, Oct 7 (UNI) There are approximately 20 million diaspora Indians all over the globe with the US, UK, West Asia and EU still being the preferred destinations for thousands of Indians who apply for visas each year.

The large expat community rivaled only by the Chinese have a combined income of USD 160 billion, which is nearly 35 per cent of the country's GDP.

This focus on the US, UK and traditional destinations may soon change with other countries from all parts of the globe wooing the educated and hardworking Indian.

Recently a number of countries have sent teams across the country, holding exhibitions not just in the large metros but second-tier cities as well, hard selling their institutions and offering job opportunities. They know that Indians with their ethics for hard work, respect for law and general docile nature are perfect to fill the classrooms, offices and contributing to their economies.

While many may be unable to offer the facilities or pay packets that traditional destinations-the US and UK offer, other countries are dangling enticing incentives to our desi students and workforce.

Countries like New Zealand with a small population of four million desperately need foreign migrants (at least 30,000 a year) to boost its economy. Turkey with a population of 72 million on the other hand would welcome skilled Indians to teach its young and growing workforce in IT and develop it growing economy which is ranked 17th in the world.

These new 'arenas' may prove to be new hunting grounds for the new diaspora. To start with, visas and other requirements can be expected to be less stringent than the traditional destinations.

These new growing economies will provide better platforms for new entrepreneurs by providing benefits, subsidies and working conditions for the investments brought in. For students, non-traditional subjects that range from veterinary, fashion designing to sports management courses at low costs can attract a new wave of students.

The response to these opportunities have been positive with liberalisation and overall increase in awareness on these countries via the mass media and the Internet.

Keeping these in mind, the government and institutions here should aid and help in promoting these avenues- information, conducting seminars and exhibitions, facilitating loans and transfer of technology etc as they would (sooner or later), help in bringing in more remittances to the country's economy. In the capitalised world of the 21st century, the billions of dollars earned by the diaspora have helped India emerge as a force to be reckoned with.

These new relatively unexplored countries can provide new bases for Indians not only to study and work, but create a potential ground for future generations to make their mark in their new environment culturally and economically, and help sustain the country's growth.

UNI

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