IMF says im­mi­grants can boost host economies

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THE In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund says im­mi­gra­tion could help boost eco­nomic growth in host coun­tries and called for the swift in­te­gra­tion of new work­ers to help sur­mount po­lit­i­cal ten­sions.

The re­marks, con­tained in a new study, co­in­cides with strong an­ti­im­mi­grant sen­ti­ment in West­ern coun­tries as a global refugee cri­sis reaches pro­por­tions not seen since World War II.

“Mi­gra­tion may stir so­cial ten­sions and pro­voke a po­lit­i­cal back­lash in re­cip­i­ent economies, but past ex­pe­ri­ence sug­gests it may also of­fer gains in terms of higher growth and pro­duc­tiv­ity,” the re­port said.

A sin­gle per­cent­age point rise in the share of mi­grants among a host coun­try’s adult pop­u­la­tion can in the longer-term re­sult in a 2 per­cent gain in per capita GDP, the IMF said.

It called for the quick in­te­gra­tion of new ar­rivals into labour mar­kets, as well as ac­cess to schools and sup­port for mi­grant busi­nesses, to re­duce the strains and so­cial pres­sures that can come with ab­sorb­ing new mi­grant pop­u­la­tions.

“Refugees re­quire spe­cial at­ten­tion. A key is­sue is re­duc­ing the time asy­lum seek­ers must wait be­fore they are al­lowed to work,” the re­port said.

Ac­cord­ing to the IMF, un­ease over mi­gra­tion also helped drive Bri­tish vot­ers this year to choose to se­cede from the Euro­pean Union.

And in the United States, Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump has called for the cre­ation of a wall along the US-Mex­ico bor­der as a means of con­trol­ling in­ward­bound mi­gra­tion.

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