July 14, 2024

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More expats may leave Hong Kong because of the city’s strict Covid restrictions

According to a key business group, more than 40% of its members are considering leaving Hong Kong because of the city’s draconian coronavirus regulations.

Border closures, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, are a key issue for those polled.

As it follows mainland regulations, the Asian financial powerhouse has some of the strictest coronavirus standards in the world. China’s strict anti-corruption policies

The 2022 Business Sentiment Survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham HK) questioned 262 individuals and corporate representatives, many of whom had recently relocated to the city from outside.

It was discovered that 44% of people claimed they might leave Hong Kong because of its border controls and social restrictions. In comparison, 26% of the businesses polled said they were considering relocating.

According to the poll, Hong Kong’s Covid-19 restrictions are causing major disruptions to businesses, delaying new investment and making it difficult to recruit personnel.

Businesses, on the other hand, are optimistic about their prospects in the city, according to the survey. This is especially true in the financial services area, with over a third of respondents claiming that Hong Kong has improved its regional competitiveness in wealth management in the last three years.

Many of those polled also stated that while some businesses and individuals left the city, new opportunities arose.

While businesses were generally upbeat, deteriorating US-China ties, the high cost of living, and other factors raised concerns. Almost 70% of respondents said their trust in Hong Kong’s rule of law had deteriorated in the previous year, citing events such as the imprisonment of millionaire Jimmy Lai and Hong Kong’s government’s growing ties to Beijing as factors.

Ms Joseph is one of the city’s expats who has chosen to depart. She is now back in the United States and will step down as president of AmCham HK in March, claiming she has been unable to return to the city because Hong Kong closed its border with the United States.