A strong contribution to the briefing was also made by His Excellency Mr. Jean-Francis Zinsou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Benin to the United Nations in New York, and Coordinator of the LDC Group, who provided many insightful and detailed examples of LDCs' experiences.
The Ambassador commented on the potential role of migrants from LDCs as sources of development finance, and as channels of knowledge transfer and facilitators of trade and market-access opportunities in host countries.
Mr. Tesfachew pointed out that the increasing magnitude of the remittances sent to LDCs in recent years constitutes a significant source of external financing which, if managed via appropriate policies, could prove particularly valuable for capital-scarce LDCs.
Harnessing remittances to increase productive capacities requires these resources to be considered pragmatically, recognizing that ultimately they are private resources, and that due account needs to be taken of the specificities of each country.
Other forms of engagement between diasporas and home countries, such as diaspora knowledge networks, can potentially facilitate technological catch-up in LDCs and enhance the development of productive capacities.
While concerns about the adverse impact of brain drain remain valid, as is discussed in detail in the Report, the focus of recent debate has shifted towards how to engage with diasporas and how to maximize their contribution to development. Through innovative forms of network-based industrial policy, LDCs could offset some of the adverse impacts of brain drain on their economies.
Mr. Tesfachew concluded the briefing by identifying policies - including policy lessons from other countries - which LDCs may wish to consider when designing policy frameworks for the harnessing of remittances and diaspora knowledge.