of remittance to one’s home country for that nation are evident: bolstering the
income of individuals, freedom from reliance on governmental subsidies and
greater prosperity due to high exchange rates of Canadian currency to MENA
currencies. Likewise, there are merits to the Canadian government’s involvement
in Arab Canadians’ remittances to the MENA. To begin, high rates of remittance
from individuals assuage the burden of foreign aid from the government itself.
Additionally, the opportunity to invest in foreign markets is facilitated by such
migrant networks, which may actually “… provide business opportunities by
decreasing asymmetries of information by reducing transaction costs through
formal (e.g., business) or informal (e.g., familial) contacts in their home
country.” (Leblang, p 587)1 Canada may capitalize by
developing such a relationship with the expatriates of foreign nations whom are
also living in Canada: expatriates are “… more likely to invest in their
homeland … because language and cultural knowledge more than compensate for
what may be marginally lower returns,” (p 587)2 opening the door to
bilateral cooperation and growth facilitated by the Arab diaspora.
for a higher likelihood of investment in home country may be explained by the
home country bias and the familiarity effect, when in the face of statistical
fact, investors and senders of money choose to send their money to places other
than those which would be most economically efficient due to personal affinities
that bind them to their country of origin. These transfers are not significant
when compared to investments such as FDI or Portfolio investments, but they are
large enough to not be negligible. The cultural affinity Arabs in Canada have to their
home countries, as well as to the broader MENA, is demonstrated by the
sustained financial relationship between the migrant and the home country, and
lack of a full assimilation of conscience to their host country, which in this
case is Canada. In fact, of the top ten migration corridors from the
Middle-East are to other countries in the MENA (48)3.
From the occupation of Palestine and the displacement of its people beginning in 1948, to the Canal
de Suez crisis of the 50s, to the Gulf War of the 90s, to the War on Terrorism
waged on the Iraqi people in the 2000s, to the present day of devastation
taking place across Yemen, Syria, and Libya, among others, following the Arab
Spring in 2011, Arabs are chronically, forcibly displaced by violence,
injustice and the corruption which authorizes the two. From within the MENA,
Arabs move to other MENA countries, most often situated in the Middle Eastern
region. As such, some of the highest corridors of remittances between countries
are between MENA countries, such as (place examples of heavily financed
corridors, such as Oman to Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Yemen and UAE to Yemen). For
these reasons, Arabs have become highly adaptable to new countries of
immigration, as well as developing a diaspora culture of remittance, return and
rebuilding. Human capital cultivated in Canada, among other countries, of Arab
diasporas, often returns to the home country in order to work for Arab
countries and help rebuild private, public and non-for-profit sectors. MENA
governments are aware of this fact – many countries have recently begun to
explicitly welcome and embrace the contributions of their expatriates, “… an
explicit acknowledgement that expatriates are a resource to be leveraged for
national economic betterment (80).4
1 David Leblang, Familiarity
breeds investment: Diaspora networks and international investment, (American Political Science Review, 2010), 587.
2 Ibid., 587.
3 Dilip Ratha,
Christian Eigen-Zucchi, and Sonia Plaza, Migration and
remittances Factbook 2016, (World Bank Publications, 2016), 48.
Leblang, Harnessing the diaspora: Dual citizenship, migrant return remittances,
(Comparative Political Studies 2017), 80.