Washington: Causing a ‘major loss’ to the US, more and more skilled people from countries like India and China are increasingly returning home from the US, a new report said on Thursday. This is being seen as an Asian ‘entrepreneurship boom’.

The report has been published in 'The Grass is Indeed Greener in India and China for Returnee Entrepreneurs' of the Kauffman Foundation in association with the Duke University, University of California-Berkeley and the Harvard University.

What was once a "brain drain" that advantaged the US economy now is reversed to the long-term benefit of India and China, the report, which is based on a survey of skilled 153 Indian and 111 Chinese workers in the US who returned home said.

Nearly half said they wanted to start companies back home.

"The data from the final section of the survey suggest, however, more complex process—one characterised by a two-way 'brain circulation' with potential benefit to both the United States and these emerging economies," the report said.

While there are no hard data available on how many skilled immigrants have already left the US, Vivek Wadhwa, one of the author of the report, estimates that 150,000 have returned to India and China, each, over the past two decades.

"The trend has been accelerating dramatically over the past five years; tens of thousands are now returning home every year. Most authorities agree with these estimates.

"For example, the Chinese Ministry of Education estimates that the number of overseas Chinese who returned to China in 2009 having received a foreign education reached
108,000: a sharp increase of 56.2 percent over the previous year; in 2010, this number reached an all-time high of 134, 800," he said.

Skilled immigrants are now leaving the US in droves, Wadhwa said.

This is because of economic opportunities in countries like India and China; a desire to be closer to family and friends; and a deeply flawed US immigration system.

"Whether we call this a 'brain drain' or cheer the 'brain circulation' doesn't matter. It is a loss for America. Innovation that would otherwise be happening here is going abroad," he said.

The most significant factors drawing both Indians and Chinese home were economic opportunities, access to local markets, and family ties, the report notes.

More than 60 percent of Indian and 90 per cent of Chinese returnees said the availability of economic opportunities in their countries was a major factor in their return.

Seventy eight per cent of Chinese were lured by the attraction of local markets as were 53 per cent of Indians. And 76 percent of Indians and 51 percent of Chinese said it was family ties that brought them back home. The returnees took pride in contributing to their home country's economic development.

More than 60 per cent of Indians and 51 per cent of Chinese rated this as very important.

Government incentives weren't at all important for Indians, but did lure back 23 per cent of the Chinese.

And Only 10 per cent of the Indians and Chinese left the US because they had to; others may have been frustrated with their visa situation, but had other, more important reasons for returning home.

Wadhwa said among Indians, the strongest common advantage to entrepreneurs who had moved home was lower operating costs; among Chinese, it was access to local markets.

In India, 77 per cent ranked operating costs and 72 per cent ranked employee wages as very important advantages; in China, 64 per cent and 61 per cent did.

In China, 76 percent ranked access to local markets as very important. In India, 64 percent did. The availability of qualified workers was perceived as a more significant advantage in India than in China, with 60 per cent in India and 43 per cent in China saying this was very important.