Working Papers

The Economic Experiences of the Indian Diaspora

Centre for Policy Research

May 1, 2004

Indians have, since times immemorial, been guided by the philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam’. It is hence not surprising that people from India have been responding to economic opportunities of an international nature knocking at their doors and have migrated to other parts of the world in search of greener economic pastures. The whirlwind of economic liberalization coupled with the phenomenon of convergence in the field of electronic communication has now reduced the entire universe into a global village, converting this tiny trickle into a much bigger stream. In the light of all this, it is interesting to examine the economic experiences of people of this kind often referred to as the Indian Diaspora. The paper here attempts an exercise of this kind and is split into five parts. Part one goes into the issues of defining the concept particularly with reference to the Indian Diaspora. Part two studies the experiences of the Indian Diaspora in two different regions of Africa. Part three examines issues in this regard about the Indian Diaspora in Canada. Part four looks critically at the attempts to woo NRI capital and enterprise to India with particular focus on foreign direct investment. Part five summarises the main findings of this paper to crystal-gaze a little and also to draw meaningful policy inferences.

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