70,000 Arab Graduates Migrate for Overseas Jobs Annually


Dubai, Sep 6: Some 70,000 Arab university graduates migrate annually to foreign countries for jobs, while 54 percent of Arab students studying abroad do not return to their native places, resulting in huge economic losses for governments in the region, WAM news agency reported.

Arab countries, which make substantial investments for educating and training youths, lose over $1.5 billion due to migration of graduates for overseas jobs, while recipient countries exploit the refined talent without having to spend on education, a study conducted by Department of Population and Migration Policies of the 22-member Arab League said.

In light of the present economic realities, an opportunity has therefore opened for talent-exporting countries within the Arab World to introduce policies to reverse the trend of brain drain, the study noted.

It urged the Arab countries to formulate measures to create rewarding work and investment opportunities at home to stop the mass migration of graduates for overseas jobs.

Citing statistics obtained from the Arab League, ILO, UNESCO and other Arab and international organisations, it noted that about 100,000 scientists, doctors and engineers leave Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Tunis, Morocco and Algeria annually.

Seventy percent of the scientists do not return home, while about 50 percent of doctors, 23 percent of engineers and 15 percent of scientists move to Europe, the US and Canada.

The study indicated that it is imperative for the talent-exporting Arab countries to learn from previous experiences such as the Non-Resident Indian programme, which the Indian government introduced during the past few years to attract Indian expatriates back home.

The study also highlighted the need to establish a robust network and communication line with immigrant communities abroad to allow the governments of various Arab countries to disseminate information about new opportunities back home.

The skilled and successful entrepreneurs when they return home would help generate domestic jobs, potentially double the national income, consolidate the economy and even help the country catch up with established international job markets, the study added.

Some of the measures the governments can introduce include simplifying the process to set up businesses, offering relaxed regulations, improving living standards and public services, instituting healthier pension and compensation plans, improving national security measures and investing in new infrastructure and development projects, it said.

The Arab region is expected to register a labour force growth of 3.5-4.0 percent over the next 10-15 years. The World Bank estimates that to keep up with that growth, the region will have to create 55-70 million new jobs, WAM reported Saturday.


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Comment on this article

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Sun, Sep 06 2009

    This news can be true for ''Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Tunis, Morocco and Algeria'' but does not apply for all Arab countries. Out of these half are war-infected countries others economically poor. However, in Gulf countries, the youth are enticed to education and are given a manager''s job on a platter upon completing graduation. High charges on all services are levied from foreigners to fund for educating these youth. No envy but admiration for such an organized management of affairs.

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