2022-01-08 22:42

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Exit Rate for HK Expats Fast Outpacing Number of Moving In


Source: SCMP

Good evening everybody


British national Anne is preparing to leave Hong Kong, a place she has called home for the past seven years.



Her family adores the city of 7.5 million, but she is giving up its seasons and scenic country parks for Singapores urban landscape. 


For the mother of two young children, the issue is the 21-day hotel quarantine that is mandatory for all returning residents. 


Anne, a homemaker who declined to be named, has not seen her family in Britain for three years.


We desperately miss our families but the three-week quarantine and the continual instability of flights is too much, said Anne, who intends to relocate in April.


 My mental health has suffered considerably due to the fear of the consequence of contracting Covid-19.


Those who get the virus in Hong Kong are immediately sent to hospital for at least 10 days


After testing negative twice, they are isolated in government facilities for another 14 days


On Wednesday, the government said it would ban flights from eight places including the United States and Britain for two weeks, citing a surge in imported Omicron cases threatening to overwhelm health care facilities. 


It also announced a ban on dining in restaurants after 600pm and the closure of leisure and entertainment facilities for two weeks.



The three relocation firms that This Week in Asia spoke to said the exit rate for Hong Kongs expats, who made up an estimated 10 per cent of the population in 2019, was fast outpacing the rate at which foreigners were moving in.
While the talk in legal and banking circles is that many of these departing expats and their jobs are heading to Singapore, the relocation firms and consultants said those leaving were also heading to Britain, Canada and Australia.
While multinational companies told This Week in Asia they were committed to staying put, analysts said a sustained stream of expats departing Hong Kong C a city long touted as a magnet for skilled labour C was a worrying sign and could dent the economy.
Its international status as a financial business centre was likely to be hit, said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank.
Hong Kong will increasingly become just another Chinese city rather than a global hub as the composition of nationalities of both companies and talent change, he said. 
Hong Kong will risk losing some of its uniqueness and diversity if expats no longer feel the same pull to live and work there.



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