Technology and Migration

Technology and Migration : A Brief Background

The fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping our economies and potentially the migration debate. Migrants and diaspora have a long history of starting successful businesses, in particular in the technology industry. It is estimated that 45% of the Fortune 500 companies in 2019 were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Startups create promising human resource, fintech, civictech and edtech solutions that span the information divide between employers and migrants and improve the implementation of migration policies.

Why Should the Private Sector be Involved?

  1. The private sector is well placed to provide insights into how to turn entrepreneurial aspirations to business realities.
  2. In those countries that have proved most successful in attracting immigrant entrepreneurs, such as Australia, New Zealand, and the US, governments have consulted closely with the private sector to develop appropriate policy settings.
  3. The private sector may contribute directly to promoting the benefits of migrant entrepreneurship, for example by providing training for low and semi-skilled migrants in their employment; exploring linkages between online work, virtual migration and circular migration, etc.

Recommendations from the private sector

  1. Urge  governments lead by example by appointing institutional entrepreneurs.
  2. Broaden eligibility thresholds for venture capital investment; creating easy pathways to entrepreneurship; increasing the number of visas, etc.
  3. Promote government-private sector dialogue on these and other solutions at the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
  4. Provide training for low and semi-skilled migrants in their employment; exploring linkages between online work, virtual migration and circular migration; developing innovative financing mechanisms for supporting the skills base in countries from which skilled migrants are hired; and incentivizing diaspora direct investment (DDI).