IOM Moldova’s Chief of Mission: Diaspora has to be part of big, complex economies

Moldova’s story, especially in regard to migration, is a story of challenges but also of opportunities, and there are opportunities to bring the diaspora back, says Lars Johan Lönnback, IOM Moldova’s Chief of Mission.

Speaking at the 10th Diaspora Congress on Friday, the official said that the diaspora has to be part of big, complex economies, complex healthcare and social systems.

Lars Johan Lönnback noted that one third of Moldovans are situated abroad. Of this third, again one third are in a short-term migration situation that is quite vulnerable. The diaspora contributes with around 16 percent to the economy of Moldova, the country’s GDP and represents 18 percent of the electorate.

“There are very strong forces, societal, and economic forces that bring about this massive migration. This brings wealth to the countries back in terms of remittances, of skills to the economy that needs it”, said the IOM chief of mission.

He went on to highlight three concrete actions that IOM Moldova is taking right now together with Moldovan colleagues and other UN sister agencies. The first action is to get to know the diaspora better, scientifically and sociologically. The second is to look at the return pathways for people with skills. The third is to consider new innovative investment schemes in “very attractive” areas such as green economy.

“Moldova is not alone in this situation”, declared Lars Johan Lönnback.

The 10th Diaspora Congress was held as part of the Diaspora Days, taking place in Chisinau on August 18 and 19.

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