Growing brain drain concerns developing countries

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PUERTO VALLARTA: Developing countries are increasingly concerned over a brain drain from key areas such as health and technology, participants at a UN migration summit said Thursday in Mexico.

"Selective immigration deprives the country of origin of an indispensable factor for their development by removing highly qualified people," said Ulises Fernandez, from the Cuban foreign ministry, speaking at the fourth Global Forum on Migration and Development in the Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta.

The governments of Israel, Bangladesh, Morocco and Portugal were among those presenting a document underlining the negative implications of the departures, on the second day of the meeting in which some 125 countries took part.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 Israelis now work in the technology sector across the world rather than contributing to developments at home, the document said.

"It’s a serious concern in Latin America, and new generations of Peruvian doctors work in the United States," added Peru’s deputy foreign minister Max de la Puente.

However, the outlook was not completely pessimistic, said French researcher Jean-Baptiste Meyer, from the Institute for Research and Development (IRD).

"Networks of diasporas have organized so that their ‘brains’ collaborate with their original communities and transmit knowledge from their workplaces," Meyer said.

"They’re doubly loyal, transnational professionals," he said, citing examples of deals on the mobility of highly qualified professionals between India and Denmark.


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