Harnessing migrants’ savings for investment and development the focus of OSCE-supported regional conference
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
A conference organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities and the International Organization for Migration on migrant investment, return and economic reintegration for development in the South East European and Central Asia regions started in Vienna on 10 December.
The two-day event brings together some 100 participants from OSCE participating States, including representatives of governments, commercial and central banks, migrants’ associations and international organizations.
The conference will feature new research findings on the potential of migrants’ savings, kept in the countries of destination, for investment and development in countries of origin. Studies have shown that such savings in the host country can represent a sizable accumulated sum, in addition to remittances sent home.
Participants will discuss how governments, in co-operation with the financial sector, could put in place incentives and measures that would encourage migrants to invest part of these savings in the countries of origin, thus better capturing the potential of migrants’ savings and remittances for socio-economic development and security.
"The OSCE supports dialogue and closer co-operation between governments, the private sector and migrants’ associations to optimize the socio-economic benefits of migration. Such benefits can have a positive long-term effect on economic growth and development in both countries of origin and destination in the OSCE region through new investment and job creation," said Goran Svilanovic, the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities.
Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Director of the Legal and Consular Section of Austria’s Ministry for European and International Affairs, said: " Migration can be beneficial not only to the migrant who is making a better living than in the country of origin, but to the receiving country which needs skilled staff, and to the country of origin which can receive an influx of funds.
"The subject of this conference is very well chosen as it stresses the effects of the high productivity of migrants on savings and investment and their importance for development efforts in South Eastern Europe and Central Asia."
Andreas Halbach, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration in Vienna said: "To date the focus has been on the remittance part of migrant’s earnings. But there are also the savings generated aside from the regular remittances and retained where they are earned, which can be mobilized towards closing the development gap."
Conference participants will also exchange information and experience on initiatives and programmes aimed at alleviating the negative effects of the global economic downturn on migration and development, including economic reintegration programmes.