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World Bank: Caribbean Immigrants Abroad are 'Very Well Educated'

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Key source of investment capital; most are engaged in their birthplaces; are affluent with a “level of investment sophistication and business acumen

By Tony Best
Special to the NNPA from the New York Carib News

As Caribbean nations continue to be buffeted by serious economic challenges, their “very well educated” Diasporas are well placed, and in many cases, are already investing in business ventures back home.

With 80 per cent of the Caribbean diaspora holding college degree; 65 per cent working in the private sector in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere; and a quarter described as well-off with either a net worth or annual incomes in excess of $100,000, “these affluent and accredited individuals are of critical importance in making informed investments back home,” according to a World Bank report. “They tend to have a level of investment sophistication and business acumen that promotes best practices among investees, demands accountability and results, and can have a major contribution to the development of Caribbean economies.”

Those conclusions were based on the results of a study conducted among almost 1,000 “self-identified members of the Caribbean Diaspora” who live and work in cities and town across North America and the United Kingdom with at least half based in New York, London, Toronto and Miami.

Interestingly, Jamaicans showed the highest level of interest in investing in their birthplace, with 62 per cent indicating they would put some of their resources in their homeland. Next were Trinidadians, with 34 per cent expressing such investment interest; Barbadians 24 percent; Guyanese 15 percent; Bahamians 13 percent; Grenadians 11 percent; Haitians 11 percent; Antiguans 8 percent; Dominicans 7 percent; and Kittitians 6 percent.

‘Over 85 per cent of Diaspora members give back to the Caribbean in some way, shape or form. While the majority send remittances, make donations, buy property or invest in a venture, many others are involved as volunteers or mentors” stated the report entitled, “the Caribbean Diaspora: A source for venture Investment?”

According to the World Bank: • Almost half of those interviewed had incomes between $50,000 — $100,000; slightly over one in five made $100,000-200,000; five per cent made more than $200,000; while one in three had an annual income that was between $50,000- $100,000 .

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