Leung Chun-Ying, a former leader of Hong Kong, has downplayed worries that the city is losing talent to Singapore and praised “explosive development“ occurring domestically as a result of the opening up of mainland China.
The former chief executive responded to criticism of Hong Kong and China from Western nations and friends on Saturday by claiming that foreign companies were still loyal to the city despite what he called baseless fears expressed by their governments.
According to Leung, a former non-executive director of several companies under the renowned Singapore state-owned firm Temasek, “I believe that the moving of talent and enterprises to Singapore is solely temporary due to the pandemic situation in Hong Kong previously and relevant isolation policies.” Leung made this statement on a radio programme.
Since Beijing implemented the national security law and “patriots-only” electoral modifications, several Western nations have expressed worry about the city, but Leung claimed that for the Americans, “actions speak louder than words.”
He referred to the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit that took place in November of last year when more than 200 financiers from 120 different countries came together in the city for the first time as part of a campaign to mark the city’s opening up after nearly three years of being subject to strict coronavirus curbs.
Leung observed that “during the past time, one can see how their business sectors have behaved extremely differently from what their government has said.”
“We don’t have to worry about what the Americans say about whether China is a location for investment,” he continued. “If we handle our national development appropriately.”
There were tales of an exodus of expatriates last year as the city dealt with its sixth Covid outbreak, with some reportedly heading for greener pastures in Asia, such as Singapore.
Both Hong Kong and Singapore launched ambitious plans to entice international talent around the end of last year, laying the stage for a fierce contest between the regional hubs.