Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Congress Embraces Talent Economy

Migration is economic development. Both the United States House and the Senate are wise to the fact. I had no idea that such conversations were happening on the Hill. Sonia Plaza (World Bank) with the scoop:

A recently introduced bipartisan legislation entitled, “The Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act of 2012 “ will promote the increase of US exports to Africa. ...

... [The figure below] indicates a positive relationship between the size of migrant populations living in OECD countries and the level of bilateral merchandise between OECD countries and all African trading partners for which data are available. Encouraging African diaspora businesses to export US products to their countries seems beneficial for all the parties.

Migrants are trade ambassadors. They connect two places. The don't move from one town to another. It's win-win, not zero-sum.

Traditionally, in this nation-state game, we put territory before people. In the globalization game, cities rule. People come first. Place-based economic development serves an era that is at least a century in past. An upgrade in urban amenities was great, in 1910. Get with the times. People develop, not places.

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