* The world turned upside down: how workers are moving from PIIGS to BRICS

The Times: “The eurozone was dreamland for the formerly impoverished fringe of southern Europe. To share the same currency as the powerful Germans and French was a sure sign that the bad times — of dusty villages emptied of menfolk — were over. They bought German cars, borrowed money to build villas and said farewell to centuries of emigration.

BRICS counties. BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India,...

BRICS counties. BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, People’s Republic of China, South Africa. Português: As Potências regionais. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, as dreamland turns to nightmare, young Portuguese, Spaniards and Greeks are on the move again, travelling in search of work and security to countries they had previously treated with contempt or indifference. People from the PIIGS — Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain — are heading for the BRICs — Brazil, India and China but not Russia — as the global turmoil creates a new trend: reverse migration.

The movement of peoples began in earnest at the outset of the financial crisis three years ago, as the strong-growth cultures became a magnet not only for European adventurers but for well-educated native-born emigrants returning home. The rapid unravelling of the PIIGS has, however, made this an act of desperation for many. Across the globe millions of people are on the move as who is rich, who is poor, who is up, who is down is defined anew. Remarkably, at least 10,000 Portuguese have left for Angola. …Angola was a Portuguese colony for three hundred years, a supplier of slaves to the mercantile class in the 17th century. Today it is Africa’s second-largest oil producer and while not exactly a BRIC — two thirds of its population live on £1.30 a day — it has an energy that has drained from its former colonial master.

Brazil has become a natural destination for the Portuguese — and the Spanish. In Madrid, a website, Pepas y Pepes, has been set up to guide would-be emigrants. Even its name is a sad echo, adapted from a famous Spanish film called ¡Vente a Alemania, Pepe! — Come to Germany, Pepe! — which was inspired by the exodus after the Spanish Civil War. … A Barcelona businessman, Jordi Camps, has set up a travel company in China, China a la Carta. “Here you can smell growth,” he says. “It is sad to hear the news from Spain.”

There are two trends unfolding in the world. The first is that many hundreds of thousands who emigrated from what was once called the developing world to Europe and the United States are now being drawn back by the resurgent economies of their homelands. … Nowadays it is an eerily quiet place with giant razor-wired pens all empty of Mexican illegals. Instead, as the US economy wobbles uncertainly, Mexicans are heading home for work. For the first time since the Great Depression more Mexicans are leaving the US than entering it — and most of them are finding jobs.

There is huge reverse migration, too, by overseas Chinese and Indians. Almost 135,000 Chinese students returned home in 2009-10 after finishing their education abroad, an increase of 24.7 per cent. Zhang Peizhuo, a 45-year-old chemical researcher who stayed in Britain for 12 years after graduating there, has now gone back to China, in part because of government incentives. “Huge growth potential and increasing government subsidies have made returning home to start a business an attractive option for many overseas Chinese,” he said.

According to the recruitment company Kelly Services India, as many as 300,000 Indian professionals are expected to return to their homeland in the next four years: “Hype or reality, people do believe that the BRICs are the future and that there are a lot more job opportunities in India than elsewhere.” …

via The world turned upside down: how workers are moving from PIIGS to BRICS | The Times.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/


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