Hong Kong risks its global finance status over Covid isolation



ORIGINAL POST
Posted by Ed 5 days ago
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=3cc4de0e-67d0-4057-b283-b2c9e21cf481&refreshStamp=0 
There has been more outspoken criticism of Hong Kong government policy from business and finance circles in the past two months than in two years of political and social turmoil. A slow Covid-19 vaccine rollout combined with the failure to outline an exit plan from the pandemic has finally lit a fire under the territory’s bankers.
 
A slow Covid-19 vaccine rollout combined with the failure to outline an exit plan from the pandemic has finally lit a fire under the territory’s bankers.
 
The disappointing vaccination programme, hampered in part by widespread mistrust in the government, has crushed hopes of international travel for people in Hong Kong, possibly until next year. 
 

Although the government is scrambling to improve vaccine rates, it has yet to connect its plan for this to a strategy to reopen borders. This has led to fears that the city will be left behind when Europe and the US reopen this summer, at a pivotal time for its reputation as a global financial centre.
 

“We are effectively signalling that we are closed for business,” one Wall Street banker in Hong Kong said this week. “Hong Kong’s position as an important financial centre is in question.”

 
Frederik Gollob, chair of the territory’s European Chamber of Commerce, said the quarantine rules meant “Hong Kong could lose its competitive edge to attract top talent”, and that people were already leaving “for good”.
 

By cocooning itself from the pandemic, Hong Kong has stumbled into a compelling experiment: how long can an international financial centre survive without foreign travel? How long will its large expat community put up with not being able to go abroad?
 
 
How long can airlines and hotels cope without business travel or tourism? The government has yet to set out a timeline that would let these businesses and individuals plan ahead.
 
 
https://www.ft.com/content/f925cc82-b0a7-4175-b31f-06642073c186 

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COMMENTS
Ed 5 days ago
These policies keep the streets quiet... therefore are likely to be kept in place indefinitely.

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