The Australia Rush has now developed into a full herd rush as large numbers of the young and even middle-aged professionals head there.
However, there are four important things to consider.
The first is that this is coming at the loss of very important manpower for Bhutan in the form of doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers etc.
It is also taking away the economically most productive group of people.
It is high time that the government start appealing to professionals to not leave while not stopping anyone. The government must try and improve their work environment here and if necessary provide better incentives for critical staff. An appeal to patriotism must be made too.
The second factor is that a lot of risk is also building up as while job and work conditions are ideal right now in Australia, inflation is on the rise and the risk of recession by 2023 looms large.
If there is some change in working hours or visa conditions or if there is a downturn then many Bhutanese will be hit badly, especially those who have taken loans and gone.
It will be great if the herd finds greener pastures, but it will be disastrous if they go over the edge.
The third factor to consider is that while the main benefit from the expatriate community is in holding up our foreign reserves for the last two years with record inflows, this flow will drastically reduce or even stop during the time of the second generation once people settle there.
The final and fourth factor to consider for the government maybe to urgently send a team there to study what it is about Australia that not only attracts young and talented Bhutanese, but also retains them.
While the high wages may not be possible we could try and replicate others things like easier access to credit, less red tape, less hierarchy, more freedoms etc here that will not only encourage people to stay back in Bhutan, but also encourage people to come back.
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.