25% Of US Companies May Leave Hong Kong
HONG KONG – The latest survey conducted by the Hong Kong branch of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) shows that 44 percent of respondents are likely to depart the city, while 26 percent of American firms are more likely to leave because of its stringent travel and social restrictions, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday (19 January, SGT).
Among the respondents who have a headquarter in Hong Kong, 48 percent do not intend to move their office, 47 percent are unsure and 5 percent plan to move their HQ.
Singapore is expected to be the top beneficiary of a talent exodus in the Chinese territory. In fact, 80 percent of the respondents named the republic as the greatest competitive threat to Hong Kong.
According to AmCham, Hong Kong’s stringent travel curbs is now the biggest challenge for US companies and residents in the city, with 60 percent of the polled businesses and individuals saying so.
AmCham surveyed 111 individual members and 151 corporate representatives.
“Hong Kong still holds business opportunities, but an array of issues, especially draconian travel restrictions and worsening US-China relations, weigh on sentiment,” stated the business group.
The study, which was carried out in September 2021 before an outbreak of the Omicron variant that led to even tighter travel and quarantine restrictions, proves that Hong Kong’s adherence to a “COVID zero” strategy is impacting its allure as a global financial hub.
The measures, which include flight bans and compelling nearly all arrivals into 21 days of isolation, have resulted in an exodus of foreign residents.
These restrictions have made it hard for head offices to continue doing business, with around 44 percent of respondents disclosing that their business has been substantially disrupted.
In fact, over 30 percent of those polled said they had to delay new investments, while 30 percent are struggling to hire senior executives.