UK and US expats lead exodus from Hong Kong
The number of expatriates in Hong Kong from Britain, the US and Australia has dropped significantly over the past year, according to official Immigration Department figures.
A spokeswoman for professional movers Asian Tigers Mobility added that the US was increasingly the favoured destination for those leaving Hong Kong, followed by Singapore, Britain, mainland China, Germany and Japan. The company, along with competitors Crown Relocations, reported a drop of between five and 10 per cent in the number of people moving to Hong Kong this year compared to 2015.Michael Wan, general manager for Hong Kong and Macau at Crown Relocations, said there had been an increase in people leaving Hong Kong for Canada, which he attributed to people “seeking more educational opportunities for children or reunion with families that have been living in Canada since a great pre-handover migration period”. He added that Africa had become an important destination for clients working for large corporations. “Africa has huge growth potential, motivating us to dig deeper into this complex region,” he said.Marcy LaRont, president of the American Women’s Association in Hong Kong, attributed the exodus among certain nationalities to the knock-on effects of the 2008 economic depression and Hong Kong's high cost of living, particularly housing.“Expats here have increasingly been asked to ‘go local’,” she said. “And though many families will ‘go local’, for at least as many others this simply isn’t feasible. Thus, you leave Hong Kong. And if companies can fill the remaining expat spots with younger and/or non-married employees without families, that is a smart economic move for them.”
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