Philippines’ Duterte laments Southeast Asia brain drain due to globalization

More than 10 million Filipinos work overseas, around 10 percent of the population, remitting billions of dollars back to the country each year. (Reuters)
Updated 09 November 2017
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Philippines’ Duterte laments Southeast Asia brain drain due to globalization

DANANG, Vietnam: Globalization has pressed the brightest workers from poor Southeast Asian countries to move overseas in a brain drain that must be reversed if real development is to be achieved, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday.
In an impassioned appeal by a leader better known for expletive-flecked outbursts, Duterte said the efforts of poorer countries to rise up the value chain are being undercut by mass migration of skilled workers.
“Globalization to a certain extent has really damaged poor economies,” he said in a speech to CEOs gathered in Danang, Vietnam, ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
By way of example he said, “the best of our young (Filipinos)... tend to go to the places where the economy is thriving,” such as the United States.
More than 10 million Filipinos work overseas, around 10 percent of the population, remitting billions of dollars back to the country each year.
He acknowledged Donald Trump’s complaints that globalization has also sent American manufacturing jobs to cheaper countries such as China.
But Duterte said poorer nations faced the hardest edge of global commerce as they are stripped of labor and raw materials to fuel a world economy they can not compete in.
He urged ASEAN — the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc of nations — to speed up economic integration to power the region up the manufacturing chain, retain its skilled workers and educate those “left behind.”
“We only provide the raw materials” which are then sent back by richer manufacturing countries for “four times the price,” he said, adding “that is globalization.”
He vowed to “forcefully” carry the message of unity to the ASEAN summit which he is hosting in Manila from Monday.
Globalization and the rules of trade are under the microscope in Vietnam this week, where world leaders including Trump, China’s Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are set to converge from Friday for the APEC summit.


Myanmar’s Hindu refugees mark festival in Bangladesh camp

Updated 30 min 45 sec ago
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Myanmar’s Hindu refugees mark festival in Bangladesh camp

  • The Hindus are camping only a kilometer away from Kutupalong near Cox’s Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been living
  • The Hindu refugees say that their community was attacked in August 2017 in northern Rakhine state by Rohingya militants

KUTUPALONG, Bangladesh: Hindu refugees from Myanmar living in a camp in Bangladesh have been celebrating the festival of Durga Puja for the first time since fleeing violence in northern Rakhine state last year.
More than 500 Hindus escaped their homes last August along with over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims as Myanmar’s army launched a brutal crackdown that the UN says amounted to “ethnic cleansing.”
Hindu community leader Jibon Sharma told AFP that the terrifying circumstances of their escape prevented them from celebrating the annual festival last year.
But now local authorities in southeastern Bangladesh and the country’s Hindu minority have helped them, including with materials to build the pavilions housing displays of the many-armed goddess Durga.
“When we were in Myanmar we used to worship regularly. But it’s different here. Bangladeshis helped us beyond imagination with money and clothes,” Sharma told AFP.
“We are very grateful to them.”
The Hindu refugees say that their community was attacked in August 2017 in northern Rakhine state by Rohingya militants, and relations with the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh remain tense.
The Hindus are camping only a kilometer or two (a mile) around away from the world’s largest refugee camp — Kutupalong near Cox’s Bazar — where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been living.
“We have full-time security posted at this camp. We are well aware of the tension between them,” said police official Jahangir Alam.
The festival includes 10 days of music and cultural performances, as well as clothes being gifted to cheering children.
“I forgot when was the last time we had such a great Puja (prayer ritual). I am seeing my kids’ happy faces... I am very happy,” Suma Paul, a Hindu refugee, said as she cried happy tears.