President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday called for the economically advanced countries of the Global North to pay compensation for recruiting skilled professionals from the poorer countries of the Global South in what is commonly referred to as the ‘Brain Drain’.
Speaking at the 134-nation G77 and China summit in Havana, President Wickremesinghe referred to the issue of ‘Brain Drain’ and said it was resulting in the loss of “educated manpower” and was threatening the countries of the Global South.
He pointed to the successes of China, India, Japan and South Korea, which developed by nurturing their manpower.
Earlier, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez speaking on the theme ‘Current Challenges of Development; The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation’ said that the “massive” drain and a significant financial contribution by developing countries to the rich ones – “much greater, by the way, than official development assistance, as a result of a migratory flow” – was devastating for the underdeveloped world.
He decried this practice of the most developed countries “to poach” the knowledge of professionals trained by the developing countries. This was done mostly without the support of the richest countries.
President Bermudez said that “all or nearly all of us” were trying to attract direct foreign investment (FDI) as a necessary component of development and that this was usually done expecting the transfer of technology. “But we know that more often than not there is no transfer of knowledge or help with capacity building”.
Sunday Times, SL