11 January, 2006

hong kong expats endangered

AsiaPundit is based in Shanghai, a city that the authorities aspire to make itself into a financial center that will rival or overtake Hong Kong. AP has before argued that, no matter what incentives are provided by the authorities, the city has decades to go before it can conceivably catch up. Of course, AP’s previous arguments haven’t considered that Hong Kong would start to create disincentives for its multinationals.:

Picture-1Coming just days after the conservative Heritage Foundation awarded Hong Kong the top spot in its 2006 Index of Economic Freedom, the local government is debating a  “anti-racism” bill that would require companies to justify their offers of generous "expatriate packages" to foreign employees.

Under the proposed legislation, firms will have to prove the foreign recruit has expertise not readily available in Hong Kong, and permanent residents will not be able to receive such special terms.

The move, outlined by government officials on Tuesday, will force a rethink of long-standing hiring practices before 1997 when the city was a British colony. A local recruitment expert described the law as a "nightmare" and said it would make Hong Kong a less attractive place to do business.

UPDATE: Simon notes the facts of the bill differ depending on what paper you may be reading.

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by @ 1:44 pm. Filed under China, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

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