Sustainable Finance

Hong Kong's Green Finance Ambitions Dampened Following Strict COVID Curbs

Published on: 7 March 2022 01:16 PM
by KnowESG

A Brief Summary

The COVID-induced restrictions have become a hurdle to Hong Kong's ambitions to become a hub for green and sustainability. Following a ban on flights, lengthy and expensive quarantine norms, lack of access to public services have led to potential talents driving away from the city.

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Hong Kong, over the years, has taken several initiatives to become a leader in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), which includes the creation of working groups with government officials and global firms to develop a local talent pool.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority said: " "These pandemic-related challenges should be transitory and we are confident that the fundamentals underpinning Honk Kong's status ... its robust financial system and ample growth opportunities, including ESG-related business ... remain strong and intact."

Despite the rising scepticism of certain business executives, medical professionals, and diplomats regarding the sustainability of a zero-COVID policy, Hong Kong has enacted one of the world's harshest restrictions. Arrival prohibitions from nine nations, ranging from Australia to the United Kingdom and the United States, will be in effect until April 20.

Andrea Wong, an associate director at headhunter Robert Half, said she was aware of a couple of ESG professionals relocating to places such as Singapore in recent months. "The travel and quarantine restrictions do inevitably make relocating talent from overseas to Hong Kong more difficult," added Wong.