Reply To: Hong Kong suffers Chronic Air Pollution


Another international news item – from Reuters – on HK air pollution, inc impacts on business people from overseas, several of whom even leave because the air’s so bad.

Hong Kong’s international business community, drawn for years by the city’s low taxes and strong legal system, has become increasingly critical of the bad air tainting its business-friendly credentials. "It’s a major concern to the chamber and its members and their families," said Deborah Biber, the Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce. The British Chamber of Commerce called on Hong Kong’s leader, Donald Tsang, to make the environment his top policy priority in the coming few years, saying the deteriorating environment was "adversely affecting … our enviable international status." BREATHING BAD AIR While the economic costs of bad air have been difficult to quantify, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong found in a recent survey that four out of five business executives knew someone who was thinking of leaving or had left the territory because of the poor air. … A Thai-American managing director of a large investment bank, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue with his firm, left Hong Kong in June — for a second time — because his 10-year-old son’s asthma condition worsened substantially during Hong Kong’s smoggy winters. … The Hong Kong and Guangdong governments have pledged to cut pollutants including sulphur dioxide by 40 percent by 2010. But with the mainland’s electricity-hungry manufacturing boom showing no signs of abating, there are fears in the Hong Kong business community that air quality could deteriorate further. … For the first six months of this year, Hong Kong suffered 65 days of smog reduced visibility of less than five kilometres, making it difficult at times to glimpse buildings across the harbour. Its particulate levels are around 40 percent higher than in Los Angeles, the most polluted city in the United States.

Bad air taints Hong Kong’s business reputation