QARASE SAYS ‘BRAIN DRAIN’ GOOD FOR FIJI

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QARASE SAYS ‘BRAIN DRAIN’ GOOD FOR FIJI

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 26) - Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase says "brain drain" is a good thing for the country as it brings in much needed foreign exchange through remittances.

Replying to queries on whether the proposed $150 million [US$87.5 million] Australia-Pacific Technical College will increase Fiji's brain drain situation, Qarase said that the movement of qualified Fiji Islanders "must happen" for the benefit of the country.

"When one has Australian certificates, there is a temptation to leave Fiji and work in Australia and New Zealand," he said. "That will happen and I think it must happen."

Qarase said Fiji should not stop any of its citizens from leaving for better prospects in foreign lands.

"And also because it is a known fact that remittances have become Fiji's second largest foreign exchange earner bring more then $350 million [US$204 million] last year," he added.

Qarase said the loss of local skills could be countered by more training of Fiji's school leavers and Fiji "certainty has the facilities to train more of our young people."

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