Monday, November 07, 2011

Globalization Of Talent

There are a number of ways to define an economic epoch. I was trained to follow the hegemon. Which superpower controlled the age? A declining America and a rising China signal the world is at the end of an era and at the dawn of a new one. Another possible lens is globalization:

“This is the new wave, the new trend,” Wang Huiyao, founder and president of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization, told me. “We had the globalization of trade, we had the globalization of capital, and now we have the globalization of talent.”

The globalization of trade aligns with the industrial era and the second British hegemony. The globalization of capital fueled the knowledge economy under the stewardship of the American Century. The globalization of talent fittingly belongs to China:

“Increasingly, immigrants who live elsewhere are being viewed as assets,” Boyle said. “This is a paradigm shift; this is a seismic shift. The notion of brain drain is ridiculed — instead, it is ‘brain circulation.’ The notion is that people can return as tourists, that people can be ambassadors for their home countries, that people can serve as business agents.”

“It is no longer about brain drain, or even brain gain,” Wang agreed. “It is about global brain circulation.”

Emphasis added. India, as well as China, is lauded for its talent geopolitics. I think India has been slow to embrace its expatriate assets. China strategically exports talent to markets ripe for domestic exploitation. Brain drain is a tool for economic development.

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