Globalization, like it or hate it, has brought tremendous impact to global economy, either on the very macro level – as often discussed in global forums, or in the deeply micro level – as shown by the restless dedication put forward by hundreds of millions of people who move outside their home countries, to pursue either personal goals or dreams, or to help their families and beloved ones thriving. With nearly 250 million people now living outside their national borders, as many as 180 million of them originate from less developed countries, and most of them, while being overlooked by bulk of international economists, are the economic lifeblood for their home countries. India, counting its millions of migrant workers in Middle East and Western Hemisphere alone, receives the world’s largest amount of remittance, currently reaching 72 billion US$ as of 2014, three to four times the amount of its IT export. Egypt itself receives 18 billion US$, three times the revenues obtained from Suez Canal. Both Tajikistan and Somalia respectively account their remittances into nearly 40% of their overall GDP. While the next time you see a migrant worker toiling hard in a construction site in an otherworldly city, or cleaning up their masters’ flat, do not, for ever, underestimate their labor: they bring a staggering amount of 415 billion US$ back to their countries each year, excluding another half a trillion dollars in their personal savings. The amount of money highly enough to make sure children go to schools, families receive adequate healthcare, and help their beloved ones in setting up small-scale businesses. It’s even three times the amount of international aid; a charity concert will do unforgivably small compared to the contribution of these migrants.
In this brilliant TED talk, Dilip Ratha, himself one of the migrants hailing from India, and now a development economist based in US, wants to talk about one of the world’s largest, and most thriving, sectors, thanks to globalization, and also one of the most overlooked, all with its bureaucracy problems, mismanagement, and even remittance abuse by labor agencies across the globe.
Listen to his talk, and let us think deeper.