The easing of COVID restrictions is likely to help Hong Kong re-emerge as a global financial centre, according to Jonathan Watkin, chairman of financial intelligence news site Asia First. Watkin said that while Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong as the world’s third financial centre, Hong Kong will in time re-emerge as the city has a particular social vibrancy compared to Singapore. The easing of covid restrictions on entry to Hong Kong late last week will help improve the situation. Watkin notes that “many expats and professional locals left Hong Kong, and have gone to places such as Singapore and their home countries, but new people will arrive. Some of the recently departed will also want to return as it is an exciting place to be and careers in financial services and high income opportunities will continue, especially with mainland China. Also, fitting back in to a home country or other place can often be a challenge. Singapore is in a strong position going forward, but Hong Kong’s closer distance to the Mainland, and its successful measures with cross broader wealth and other ‘connect’ schemes will continue to make this place different and attractive. The Greater Bay Area also presents many business opportunities with its significant GDP and population size.
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