Equador makes push to invest in human capital

South and Central American countries are waking up and realizing that if they want to have thriving, sustainable economies, they must create incentives for investment and human capital to come to their country. Chile has funded their own “Start-up” initiative and now even Equador is paying students and professionals to come set up shop in their country. Business Insider reports on Equador’s recent efforts to import human capital:

President Rafael Correa isn’t just bent on staunching brain drain, in which talented people flee developing countries for lack of local opportunity. He’s determined to reverse it, create a brain gain.

“Without human talent Ecuador won’t advance,” Correa said in a speech last month. “We lack the minimum critical mass of top-flight professionals needed to spur the country’s development.”

Ecuador’s deputy minister of science and innovation, Hector Rodriguez, said the goal is “a radical transformation” from a country whose exports are 77 percent raw materials, chiefly oil, to one that exports technology.

A third piece of the program imports talent already abroad. It has already recruited 100 mathematicians, physicists, chemists, biologists and other scientists, half of them Ecuadorean nationals and half foreigners.

Each gets a $6,000 monthly paycheck, and the government is reviewing an additional 1,500 applications from Spain, the United States and elsewhere.

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