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How does the Indian diaspora help drive trade and investment ties between India and North America? An exploratory study

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(Thesis) Ph.D.
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This study examines the role that the Indian diaspora plays in helping to drive trade and investment ties between India on one hand and Canada and the United States on the other. The Indian diaspora is becoming increasingly important in both political and economic terms in North America. As trade and investment ties continue to grow between a fast developing India and Canada and the United States, the Indian diaspora has been playing an important role in driving this relationship. This study utilizes the concepts of acculturation, bicultural identity, brain circulation, social capital literature and investment theories to analyze the impact that the diaspora has on this relationship. It examines the complex attitudes that the diaspora has towards the home and host countries, and looks into how these help to drive their actions towards these countries. It points out the differences between the attitudes and activities of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. and the attitudes and activities of the Indian diaspora in Canada. It also tries to determine whether the current theories of investment do in fact predict the behaviour of the Indian diaspora when it comes to their investment and trade facilitation behaviours. This is a two-part study that employs both qualitative and quantitative methods. The first part of the study involves a questionnaire survey with 158 managers, executives and entrepreneurs of Indian descent living in the U.S. and Canada while the second part involves more detailed follow up interviews with 25 of these respondents. The results indicate that the Indian diaspora does play an important part in driving trade and investment between Indian and North America. However, there are clear differences between how the diaspora in Canada and how the diaspora in the U.S. does this.
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