The Business Advisory Group on Migration, hosted by IOE, led the business delegation to the Twelfth Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) Summit, held in Quito, Ecuador on 20-24 January.
Over 1000 participants from the civil society, private sector, local authorities, youth and academia took part in the Twelfth GFMD Summit under the theme "Sustainable approaches to human mobility".
As one of the Forum’s stakeholder groups, the Business Advisory Group on Migration brought the private sector’s perspective to the Summit. The Group organised a series of events, including roundtable sessions assessing the results of regional consultations held in North Africa and South America in 2019, together with preparing for upcoming workshops in Asia and the Middle East.
The Group also hosted its annual GFMD Summit meeting with a focus on skills mobility: "The impact of migration policies on the ability for businesses to recruit or retain skills". The business and governmental participants to this this flagship event examined in-depth the recommendations from the regional consultations together with a joint assessment on the impact of national migration policies on businesses and how to find solutions that maximise the benefits of migration while reducing its risks.
The business delegation also had a say in a variety of sessions organised by different stakeholders, including plenary meetings, panel discussions, government-led roundtables and world café inspired get togethers. One of these world café sessions was co-organised by the Group in partnership with the ILO, focusing on "Skills mobility: ensuring regulatory frameworks that are adapted to today’s economic, political and social realities".
For the first time this year, the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) together with the Swiss start-up accelerator Seedstars, launched the "Migration Challenge". This competition awarded one of ten nominated African and Latin American start-ups that are focused on creating the most innovative human resources, fintech, civictech, edtech, and other cutting-edge products that span the information divide between employers and migrants.
A "Tech Garden" space provided a platform for the ten start-ups to showcase their products during the Forum. After a mentoring process and a pitching session, the Rwanda-based start-up BAG Innovation was given de “Tech and Innovation” award of the competition. This start-up was given the prize for enabling migrants to get valuable insights into the local market needs, receive career advisory and match with potential employers.
Furthermore, the Business Advisory Group had the opportunity to officially launch two publications during the Forum: "Business Challenges and Opportunities in light of the Immigration Regulatory Framework in South America: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay", and "The Challenges and Opportunities of Business Immigration Structures in the Maghreb Region: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia". Both papers aim at providing guidance to maximise the interaction between governments and the private sector for the design and implementation of flexible, proactive and rigorous immigration policies in those countries.