“Exodus Of Foreigners Will Make Our City Less Diverse”
23 August 2022
I am a Spanish citizen who has called Hong Kong home for the past 15 years. I got married at the Hong Kong Civil Registry, my two daughters were born at Queen Mary Hospital, and I own a business and a house here. I am not an expat. Hong Kong is home.
In August 2021, I went on holiday with my daughters to visit family in Spain. Due to the strict quarantine regulations in Hong Kong and the mishandling of the pandemic by the government, we never came back. I watched in disbelief as mothers were separated from babies, shipping containers were converted into quarantine facilities and pets were sacrificed. We have lived like nomads for the last 12 months, hoping Hong Kong would regain some sanity and claim back its status of “Asia’s World City”.
Like me, thousands of foreigners have fled Hong Kong in the past year – families who call the city home, qualified employees who bring diversity to the workforce, business owners who add colour to the entrepreneurial scene, children who enrich our schools.
The exodus of foreigners from Hong Kong is not just a statistical fact; it drains the city of diversity, possibly causing irreparable damage. Studies have demonstrated that teams that are diverse and inclusive perform better, and if you extrapolate that to an entire city, Hong Kong is at a loss.
Hong Kong is at a point of no return and the stakes are high: either the new government takes decisive action to open the gate and invite the international community back, or deal with the consequences of a society that is less diverse, less inclusive and less rich.