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Back to Hong Kong: Return migration or transnational sojourn? - page 4 / 33

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4

sources in north-western Europe, but much higher for newer national

origins in southern and eastern Europe. In the more recent, post-1945

period, return migration has continued even among north-west

Europeans from such culturally compatible settings as Australia and

Canada. Estimates suggest that as many as 20-30 percent of Britons

returned to the United Kingdom from these seemingly harmonious

destinations (Hammerton 2004). For other groups, such as Turks in

Germany, Italians and Greeks in Australia, or West Indians in Britain,

return migration was a prospect long contemplated, for many ultimately

a myth than was not enacted, but for others a transition prepared for by

earlier return visits (Baldassar 2001; Duval 2004) and undertaken

usually at retirement (Gmelch 1980; King 1986; Western 1992; Byron

and Condon 1996; Thomas-Hope 1999).

A more recent repatriation process has been the appearance of the

so-called brain exchange, complicating the earlier emphasis on a brain

drain to the countries of the global north. In developing countries like

China or India an emergent high technology industry has led to return

migration by citizens who had moved to western nations as students and

young professionals, but who now see career and entrepreneurial

opportunities in their countries of birth (Iredale et al 2002). Return

migration of the highly skilled has been encouraged by targeted

programmes in some nations, notably China and Taiwan, including the

construction of science parks as specific labour attractions for

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