More Foreigners In HK Looking To Relocate To Singapore
HONG KONG – Singapore and Hong Kong have long competed to be the top commercial hub in Asia, but due to the Chinese territory’s stringent quarantine rules some expatriates and businesses have had enough and finally decided to move to the city-state, reported CNN on Wednesday afternoon (22 September, SGT).
For instance, Norris Fong, a 33-year-old fashion buyer who works at Versace will soon be returning to Singapore as it’s almost 2 years since he has met his family back in his native Singapore
He said he’s frustrated over Hong Kong’s COVID-related curbs and the government’s lack of a clear reopening plan.
“Singapore definitely has a better game plan,” said Fong, who has lived in Hong Kong for 4 years. The uncertainty and the lack of a good game plan has irked Fong. In fact, he had made plans to visit his family in Singapore 2 times since the beginning of the global health crisis, but he cancelled both trips due to changing quarantine rules.
“That takes a huge toll,” commented Fong. The situation in Hong Kong “could well drag on into 2023.”
Frederik Gollob, the head of the Hong Kong branch of the European Chamber of Commerce also thinks that Singapore is gaining an advantage over Hong Kong due to the former’s willingness to relax strenuous COVID-related curbs and move forward with a plan to treat the diseases as endemic, although there had been setbacks to the plan.
“Of course, Singapore is benefiting. This is happening as we speak,” he told CNN Business.
Gollob disclosed that he has learnt that there are many firms whose top executives are in discussions whether to relocate some operations out of Hong Kong, or awaiting their “office leases to expire” before making such a move. He refused to identify those companies.
Furthermore, he underscored that Hong Kong’s lack of a good game plan on how to deal with COVID-19 is frustrating businesses, particularly multinational corporations (MNCs).
“This moving or non-existing goalpost is exactly the problem … businesses hate nothing more than insecurity.”
With Singapore’s reopening plan to live with COVID-19, “those companies now have an alternative, not because they were actively looking for it, but because of this situation (in the Chinese territory), where everything is in limbo and you can’t plan ahead,” added Gollob.