IB2018/3 Encouraging and Enhancing Economic Development in RSE and SWP
This In Brief highlights research on the use of remittances from the Australian Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE) for business investments in Pacific sending countries. These programs, which specifically recruit from Pacific Island Forum states and Timor-Leste, have an objective of encouraging economic development in the sending countries. It is believed the development gains are twofold: both through remittances that seasonal workers transfer to their households, and the skills that workers acquire during the course of their placement. Our research argues that remittances, as private household transfers, can have an especially positive impact on the local economy if these private monies are used to finance productive activities, such as business investments. Here we discuss evidence of business investments arising from remittances from ni-Vanuatu workers under the RSE and Tongan workers under the SWP.