Pacific Region Forum: Diasporas as Drivers of National Competitiveness: Trade, Trust, and Ties

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 2:00 PM

2–3:30 pm, Thursday, November 24, 2011
Room 1425, SFU at Harbour Centre,
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Admission is free, reservation is required.

Countries can greatly enhance their national competitiveness by leveraging their diasporas in different parts of the world. Diasporas can act as catalysts to enhance human capital development in their country of origin (COO), as well as use their transnational social networks in both the COO and country of residence (COR) as conduits to drive trade and investment. They can also help in introducing the COO culture and products to the COR, and using their social networks to favorably impact the COO effect. In this presentation, we will also explore what makes them so effective in these roles by indicating how they can foster trust across diverse cultures. We explain how members of ethnic diasporas can leverage the trust that they have built with their COR (through education and/or work experience) and their COO (through ethnic ties) to bring about trade-related bene­ts to both their COO and COR. Examples from two of the largest and most prominent diasporas today, the Chinese and the Indian diasporas, are used to illustrate these issues. The presentation will review some of the roles that modern diasporas can play and explain how trust can constitute an important aspect in each of these roles. The changing role of diasporas is examined though issues that are of particular concern to them, such as bicultural identity, regionalism, COR acculturation policies, and rising living standards in their COOs. The presentation concludes with a look at how the changing role of diasporas could affect national competitiveness, and how different countries could deal with it.


Masud Chand is an Assistant Professor of International Business and a Faculty Fellow at the Barton School of Business in Wichita State University in Wichita, KS, USA. He completed his PhD in International Business from Simon Fraser University in 2009. His current research deals with the role of diasporas in driving trade and investment between their countries of origin and countries of residence, the differences in entrepreneurship behavior across different immigrant groups, and cross cultural issues that affect international business decisions. His work has previously been published in Thunderbird International Business Review, the Journal of Trust Research, International Business Review, Advances in International Management and Asia Pacific Business Review.