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Beyond Remittances: How 11 Million Migrants from the Arab World can Impact Development

Average: 3 (7 votes)
Oct 16, 2014 / 0 Comments

By Mariem Mezghenni Malouche


The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has a large diaspora. According to the latest United Nations estimates, 11 million citizens from the MENA countries lived abroad in 2013. Many of the members of this group hold prominent positions in their adopted countries. They have the potential to contribute to the development of industries in their countries of origin.


Executives in multinationals can influence the choice of locations abroad in increasingly defragmented supply-chains. This is especially relevant for members of the diaspora. Seddik Belyamani, originally from Morocco, was Boeing's top airplane salesman, and was instrumental in converting an initial push-back by Boeing’s executives into an interest and a first mover investment in Morocco. Boeing, the airline and French electrical-wiring company Labinal SA in 2001 opened a small operation preparing cables for Boeing 737 jetliners, named Matis. Matis prepared wire bundles and shipped them to Boeing plants in the U.S. for installation. Today, the industry employs almost 10,000 Moroccans who earn about 15% above the country's average monthly wage of roughly $320.


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