GEORGETOWN – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Second Vice-President, Carl Greenidge, said Wednesday that Guyana still tops the list as the country with the highest rate of emigrating tertiary-educated citizens.
Greenidge was at the time delivering the feature address at the opening session of the workshop on Migration and Development: Mobilizing Financial and Business Know-How Resources Generated through Migration at the Cara Lodge Hotel.
He said that although it is usually a good thing for a country to be featured at the top of any global ranking, the reality which Guyana faces concerning losing its educated folk is something which his government is committed to fixing.
According to the 2016 Migration and Remittances Fact Book 93 per cent of the total persons leaving Guyana have a tertiary education. Coming in second is Haiti with 75.1 per cent and Trinidad and Tobago third with 68.2 per cent.
Greenidge said that the presence of a large number of Guyanese in the Diaspora is responsible for a large inflow of remittances into the country. He said that as a consequence, remittances or “small piece” as it is locally called, have become part and parcel in the process of planning by the government.
“Remittances are sent to facilitate improving the wellbeing and welfare of relatives and dependents left at home and to purchase assets,” said Greenidge.
He reported that recently there was a change in the use of the money. He said that now persons are directing their attention towards funding investment projects. As a consequence, the Minister said that remittances have now become one of the important factors in the macro economic performance of the country.
In 2012, the inflow of remittances to Guyana amounted to US$469M, according to the Minister this represented 16% of the nation’s GDP.
Greenidge said that the government ought to take advantage of the movement of citizens into other jurisdictions. However, he highlighted that the high cost for sending remittances home affects the true benefit which can be obtained from these funds.
Grant said that remittances have become quite topical and represent big business for countries. He said that the ACP-EU Migration Action is a demand driven program funded by the EU and implemented by the IOM.