17 December 2019 I Billionaire Shesh Ghale reckons, while he takes a degree of satisfaction in the contribution of his country of origin, Australia may not be able to attract as many Nepalese students as it currently does once standards of living back in Nepal begin to pick up.
The AFR-listed real estate and education tycoon says even if they continue to come to Australia for higher studies, eventually a trend would come when a great many international students from Nepal would go back home after they complete their courses – just as their Vietnamese counterparts.
Asked to comment on Nepalese students’ contribution of $2.6 billion to the Australian economy in the Financial Year 2018-19, the Melbourne-based Australian-Nepalese philanthropist said he was rather amazed to see the massive contribution of “a poor economy” like Nepal and the fact that the mountain nation “is a third ranked international student source market”.
“Over time, I believe market will get sophisticated as Nepal’s economy and standards of living improve, eventually fewer (students) will come to Australia and more will return to Nepal not dissimilar to current Vietnam as an example,” Mr Ghale said in a conversation with southasia.com.au.
Shesh Ghale and his wife Jamuna Gurung were ranked 78th in Australian Financial Review’s list of 200 richest Australians for 2019 – seven positions up compared to the list published by The Australian. The AFR Rich List puts their net worth at $1.18 billion.
We can only imagine now the far-reaching potential of the developments including soft diplomacy, the CEO of the Melbourne Institute of Technology said.
However, Mr Ghale warned, the impressive data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistic bodes a challenge for Nepal as a nation as well as for its economy.
“Nepal needs young and skilled people for its own economic development,” the ever-humble billionaire remarked. However, he argued that the mass exodus of Nepalese youths to other labour-intensive destinations Qatar and UAE is Nepal’s biggest challenge rather than “destination Australia”.
Despite everything, the former global president of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) remarked, the winning aspect of the increasing Nepalese diaspora in Australia is the “ethnic market opportunity” that exists due to comparative advantage of the Nepalese diaspora.
“This is a natural advantage and not dissimilar to other ethnic groups. But we have to have broader and long-term vision-driven attitude towards that ethnic market,” he warned, adding that it was important to “observe ethical behaviours while “providing services to our own fellow citizens”.