Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Diaspora Knowledge Network

India is formally organizing its overseas human capital assets via a government initiative aiming to encourage investment in the home country:

The objectives of the [Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre] will be to bring the Indian states, Indian business and potential overseas investors on the same platform and to facilitate the investors to identify the investment opportunities, the statement said. The OIFC would provide a host of advisory services including matters such as consular issues, stay in India, investment and financial issues etc. “As regards overseas Indian workers our aim is to help transform them from mere savers to investors. 23 billion dollars which comes as remittance mostly goes into bank deposits and consumption expenditure. The challenge before us is to convert these savings into investments,” [Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi] said.

My recent visits to Pittsburgh tell me that the region has ample innovation capacity, but not enough ideas maturing in the marketplace. Like India, I think Pittsburgh offers a plethora of investment opportunities with the expatriates representing the best (and most likely) source of cash and entrepreneurial expertise. Keep an eye out in the coming months for a CMU-based program that is akin to the OIFC.

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