Ecuador tries to encourage its diaspora to return

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Ecuador is trying to encourage its diaspora to return home:

There are almost 100,000 Ecuadoreans residing in Italy, and Spain and the United States are home to nearly 500,000 Ecuadoreans each. But pushed by the ongoing economic weakness in Europe and unemployment in the US, and pulled by booming social spending in Ecuador, a growing number of migrants are returning to their home country.

What has the Ecuadorian government offered to get people to come back? They write significant material benefits:

A key part of Correa’s pitch is Plan Bienvenido a Casa: Por un Regreso Voluntario, Digno y Sostenible or, “Welcome Home: For a Voluntary, Dignified and Sustainable Return.” Return migrants can repatriate their belongings duty-free, qualify for business loans from the state, and receive employment assistance during the first few months back.

What’s been the rationale? In two words: human capital.

Regardless of their circumstances abroad, Correa has encouraged the diaspora to return home. His so-called “Citizens’ Revolution” emphasizes the value of human capital; of the skills and education that many Ecuadoreans may have acquired abroad that could be of use to the country’s top industries, like agriculture, oil exploitation, government, and educational institutions.

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