An intake of refugees from Syria would provide an economic boost to a host country like Australia, according to a leading economic commentator.
While a humanitarian crisis has been declared as millions of Syrians seek to leave their war-torn country, nations that agree to take in refugees are also likely to benefit economically.
Speaking at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday, Helen Joyce, international editor of The Economist, said the Syria situation is the greatest migrant crisis since the Second World War.
“At The Economist we are in favour of the free movement of labour, capital and people,” Joyce said.
“If you’re a Syrian refugee camping out in large numbers in other countries, then that [working] capital is locked up and cannot be used by other countries.”
Joyce said the Syrian refugees should be moved to a stable country and given the right to work, a development that will benefit the entire host country.
“The evidence suggests that immigrants pay in more [money to the state] than they take out, providing they are allowed to work,” Joyce said.
“Let them in and let them work so they can integrate to become an Australian, German or British citizen.”
Joyce also stressed that the Syrian refugees are “motivated people.”
“You don’t get on a boat to do an incredibly dangerous journey unless you are a motivated person,” Joyce said.
“I understand that it’s politically unpalatable to say this to people who believe that immigrants are taking the jobs, but the evidence we have says that immigrants are not stealing the jobs.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics have also stated that the idea of refugees taking Australian jobs is a myth, as humanitarian migrants have the highest rate of business ownership of all recent migrants, meaning they are creating more jobs for the Australian economy.