Making the Business Case for Migration

What’s in it for Businesses?

The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP), together with the Turkish Chairmanship of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), has conducted a study on the Business Case for Migration. This study applies return on investment (ROI) metrics to the migration opportunity for businesses in order to tackle the existing barriers for the private sector’s active and effective involvement in this field. The central research question is: What is the ROI for businesses engaging with migration?

ROI for Businesses on Migration

Within the 2013-2014 GFMD framework, the Swedish Chairmanship and THP, together with the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Council for Global Immigration and other contributing partners, conducted a mapping study to ascertain business practices, perspectives, and values with respect to global mobility, as well as the private sector’s position on the concept of engagement with governments in the area of migration policy.

Results indicated that businesses face seven main barriers in engagement with migration issues:
1) Businesses consider the issue too risky
2) Businesses are not convinced of their role or its potential
3) Businesses have no time or interest in the issue
4) The slow political process
5) Capacity to influence policy and migration management
6) Lack of awareness on the topic
7) Local legislation

These results highlight that despite ongoing efforts to bring the private sector into the migration discussion; barriers persist and must be addressed. The study also identified that risk management and cost benefits evaluation were central concerns for business leaders. Further, it recommended that demonstrating return on investment is an urgent priority and the dissemination of evidence-based regional and global data indicating benefits from talent flow is essential.

Current Study

Building on this study and the previous experience of THP in addressing private sector involvement in migration issues, the 2015 study was conducted in collaboration with the Turkish Chair of the GFMD. The study involved an analysis of six spheres of business engagement with migration: Recruitment and Retention, Policy-Making, Corporate Social Responsibility, Product and Service Innovation, Market Expansion, Job Creation. Interviews were conducted with large businesses as well as SMEs, from a wide range of sectors and geographical scope to determine a mean effect ROI for addressing migration issues.
The results of the study will be presented at GFMD Istanbul, Roundtable 3.2 on Thursday 15 October, after which they will be made available on

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