If HOME TROTTING shows the business potential of millions of immigrants traveling back and forth between new and old worlds, DIASPORA MANAGEMENT is all about governments putting their former citizens to good use. And we're not talking manipulative religious plots to use immigrants as evangelizing outposts, but establishing strong business and cultural communities that promote the best and brightest from the 'motherland' in their new countries of residence.

One nation exploring DIASPORA MANAGEMENT is India, whose government and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry recently invited 2000 extremely successful 'non-resident' Indians from 63 countries to New Delhi, to determine how the resources and achievements of Indians abroad might be used to uplift India. One juicy detail which hadn't escaped the Indian government, is that Chinese non-residents have invested about $60 billion in China, while that number for India is only $1 billion from non-resident Indians. (Source: NYT).

The opportunities that DIASPORA MANAGEMENT has to offer are endless. Very few nations have an active, creative business strategy for getting the most from their non-resident citizens. Country-specific promotions abroad still tend to focus on setting up semi-diplomatic representations, not involving local communities of fellow country-men. Think foreign investment agencies or the Thai initiative to set up a government-sponsored chain of Thai restaurants in countries around the world to stimulate tourism to Thailand.

Whether it's a celebration of national culture, foreign investments, encouraging HOME TROTTING or improving ties in trade and manufacturing: nations from Hungary to Australia have a world to gain. Sure, many immigrants may have left their home country fleeing hardship and misery. But with 'motherland' nations like China and India emerging as world powers, it is time to renew the relationship. As we like to say: 'there's definitely something there!'

Note: check out FLORIDASATION, about the growing migration from North to South in the EU.


MARCH 2004
| India is HOT. Its economy grew 8% last year, its movie industry and celebs enjoy success on a global scale, and its bustling outsourcing centers actually make it cheaper for American and European firms to do business (and force white collar workers around the world to be even more creative and innovative). So the mood at the second, New Delhi-hosted Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Indian Diaspora Day) this January was more than upbeat. The Indian diaspora, now 22-million strong, is doing well, and India's success at home should make things even better for them, increasing the opportunities for cross-border trade and initiatives.

Some of the (telling) announcements and statements making headlines during the three-day conference, which was attended by 2,000 delegates from all over the world:

Virtually the entire services sector in the Gulf, which is one of the world's richest regions, is handled by Indian technicians, nurses, teachers and scores of other professionals.
The average income of an Indian American is 50 per cent higher than the national average in USA.
Indian corporates will now be freely permitted to make overseas investments up to 100 per cent of their net worth, whether through an overseas joint venture or a wholly owned subsidiary. Overseas Indians in 16 countries now have the possibility of applying for dual citizenship.
A compulsory insurance scheme, called the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana, is now in place for Indian workers migrating to the Gulf region and South East Asia.
A permanent centre for dealing with the needs of the diasporic community (Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra) will be set up in New Delhi, for which the government will provide a plot of land and a seed grant of Rs. 250 million. The responsibility of running the centre will be entrusted to an autonomous body, which will also raise additional resources from members of the Diaspora.
Next year's Indian Diaspora Day should be no less interesting!

So, with India putting its diaspora to work for the country's greater good, and the Thai introducing an exclusive 'country membership' program (see below), isn't it time for non-Asian nations to start managing their own worldwide networks of descendants more innovatively? And you don't need to be in government to profit from this: think everything from IMMI-MERCE ideas to HOME TROTTING services! >> Email this trend to a friend.