If unemployment rate continues to grow, working migration will increase; but not much.
In 2014 1.3 million Belarusans that are working in Europe sent $1.05 billion in the form of cash transfers, claims International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFRD) of the UN.
In 2014 our country received $1.3 billion in the form of cash transfers (according to the data of the World Bank). 83% of this sum - $1.05 billion – was sent by working migrants, who work in Europe. IFAD assesses their number at 1.3 million people. All in all, about 1.5 million Belarusans-migrant laborers work around the world, and half of them work in Russia.
However, Russia is quickly losing attractiveness for Belarusans migrant laborers. Where Belarusans will be looking for replacement of the Russian market? Should we expect their return to the homeland that cannot offer them a decent job?
The questions of “EuroBelarus” Information Service covered the former Minister of Labor Aliaksandr Sasnou.
- According to the data of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFRD) of the UN, 1.3 million working migrants are employed in Europe. How realistic is this figure?
- I think this figure is a little bit overstated. There are not so many Belarusans in the country (laughing), if we take into account the employment data cited by Belstat. Perhaps, experts summed up the number of working migrants for the last years and calculated a mean value. It is hard to estimate the real figures, since we don’t know the method of research.
- How threatening are the scales of working migration for the country now?
- If unemployment rate continues to grow, working migration will increase, too. And personally, I see no signs for improvement of the situation; people don’t come back from abroad. Well, outflow of working migrants from Russia has started; but they don’t settle in Belarus but move to other countries – they have nothing to do here. Economy is slowly dying since it hasn’t been reformed. Belarusan economy is galvanized as a frog, but it will still die.
- Belarusans won’t come to agreement with the loss of the Russian market, but will be looking for its substitution abroad, won’t they?
- Some people will find a substitution to the Russian market, and others will leave the country forever and ceases to consider themselves to be Belarusans.
Belarusans will, first of all, go to the neighboring countries: Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic; some will travel further, to the US. Very few people, with the exception of some specific professions, will go to Africa.
- In 2014 our country received $1.3 billion dollars in the form of cash transfers (the data of the World Bank). The working migrants, who work in Europe, sent 83% of this sum -$1.05 billion. What do these figures prove?
- It is the volume of foreign currency supply from citizens, not enterprises or state sector. If we increase this figure, it would be good. But we can increase supply from citizens from abroad only if we get rid of silly obstacles and barriers put by the state to its own citizens – when citizens send foreign currency to the country, when citizens receive grants, and many more; there is a whole system of excluding foreign currency from the country.
- Should we expect the increase of working migration due to the growing unemployment?
- I don’t think that working migration will increase a lot: those, who wanted to leave, have already left.