Diaspora agents of change, says Pranab Mukherjee

He stressed on contribution of oversees Indians on global ecnomy

Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the Indian diaspora across the globe has been serving as agents of change and channels for the flow of ideas.

He was speaking at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here on Sunday.

“The movement of the diaspora is no longer  unidirectional as it was in the past. What started as a brain drain, has now become a brain gain, not just for India but the world as a whole” he said.

Today mobile Indian professionals and entrepreneurs are contributing across the global economy and enhancing its resilience in these troubled times, he added.

He said the movement of global talent has had many consequences. First it has brought in many global best practices into the Indian economy. At the same time, it has created networks and linkages which serve as channels for flows of ideas across boundaries. This has given the Indian economy an edge in the seamlessly connected global economic environment.

He added that the ‘pravasi bharatiya’ has contributed significantly to India’s ‘soft power’ and global image in a multidimensional manner. This has contributed to its attractiveness as an investment destination.

However Mukherjee said there is still a lot to be done. “We have not yet reaped the full benefits of India’s great diaspora. The most obvious area is investment and entrepreneurship. For instance, in China a large chunk of foreign direct investment has come from overseas Chinese.

“I am aware that there have been large ticket investments by non-resident Indian entrepreneurs. But I think it is far less than the potential and perhaps too concentrated on the formal sector. Rather, we must pursue an alternative model.
One that is more balanced and holistic in a socio-economic sense”, he concluded.

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