Since the mid of last year, tens of thousands of Bhutanese have migrated to Australia on student visas. Unofficial counts place the estimate at over 30,000. Despite the rise in emigration, figures from the Royal Monetary Authority show remittances from Australia have been trending downward for the past three years. The Asian Development Bank, ADB’s vice president of operations says the country needs to devise comprehensive short, medium, and long-term strategies to retain people in the country.
According to the ADB, the loss of human capital is significant for the country as many migrate with plans to settle in Australia for work.
The ADB added that the departure of thousands of people in the prime working age group further limits the country’s already limited scope to reduce costs by increasing production.
Talking with the members of the media, the ADB’s vice president, of operations, Shixin Chen said experienced civil servants leaving in mass leaves a huge human resource gap, which will be difficult to fill in the short term.
“There must be plans like opportunities for private sector investment, skills training, and long-term career paths. Then there will be an increased attractiveness in people seeking opportunities in their home country and they would also make contributions to its growth as well.”
According to the ADB, the emigration trend is a symptom of a stagnant economy, which is a sign that it is essential to create employment opportunities that live up to the aspirations of the Bhutanese youth.