My point is simply that HK seems to be getting positioned as a China hub more than a regional hub and Shanghai can be stiff competition if companies are looking for a base in China.
Last edited by [email protected]; 24-02-2009 at 10:18 AM.
Hmm well Shanghai or HK, Isn't Shanghai more polluted than HK?
Last edited by jimbo; 24-02-2009 at 10:26 AM.
1. There's a nice patch of grass at the former Governor's summer mansion up on the peak. No one is ever there. It's really nice in summer when it is really foggy.
2. The inside of Happy Valley racecourse. there must be a few acres of grass in here.
3. There are lots of nice patches of grass scattered throughout the country parks. Hike thru Tai Tam Reservoir.
4. Wan Chai Gap park
You'll discover more as time goes on. There are a lot of other spots that is not well known or not so easy to get to spots. These are the best as they are quite.
Of course, you also have all the private clubs.
To run through gilles's list:
- Best airport in the world and one of the best airline(shanghai nowhere near) You would probably get an argument from Singapore here, but more importantly, HKG's relative advantage over Beijing, Shanghai, etc. is shrinking rapidly.
- Best selection of English speaking schools by far(neither Shanghai nor Singapore are near) Not sure about that (no kids yet) - but I do know a number of expats who have left HKG for Singapore (and other places) solely for the schooling of their kids.
- One of the best port facilities in the world( on par with Shanghai and Singapore) Not any longer, taking into consideration the cost base. Lots of traffic has moved to Shenzhen, etc. and continues to do so.
- Excellent weather(better than SG hot and humid all year round) True, I guess - although you would never know if from all the complaints on this forum
- Access to excellent workforce with good english speaking skills(on par with Sg, better than Shanghai) Somewhat true, but much less so than in the past. Both the level of English and the relevance of it for many roles are dropping noticeably.
- Next door to China who will undeniably be an economic power for many years to come(on par with Shanghai, better than Sg) Not anywhere close to Shanghai or Beijing. Geographically obviously superior to Singapore, but not in terms of access to decision makers, etc.
- Stable and fairly well governed without too much corruption(on par with SG and way better than Shanghai) Have to disagree on this one. Not anywhere close to Singapore - and probably behind Shanghai and Beijing at this stage, given all the favors to the cartels/tycoons. Quality of government and regulations is slipping both in absolute and relative terms.
Hong Kong has been fotunate occupy a privileged position, including:
- strategic location for shipping, trade, etc.
- good general infrastructure
- highly qualified (and English speaking) workforce
- stable legal environment
- economic incentives like low taxes
- good regulatory system
- privileged access to China
- favorable living environment (natural beauty, green spaces, sea, good connections to other Asian destinations, etc.)
- good expat infrastructure (schools, goods & services, etc.)
- continues to be true, but is becoming less relevant
- is still true, but not a real competitive advantage any longer (or much less so)
- becoming less true and less relevant
- continues to be a major asset
- continues to be true
- is being eroded rapidly (and could be a real problem for Hong Kong as a financial center)
- has all but disappeared
- still true, if you can tolerate the air pollution
- still true
In short, Hong Kong has for some time benefited from its privileged position of being a much better base to
- both live and work and
- to access to China.
than anywhere else.
It continues to be very good (although probably not quite world-class) for the former on absolute terms, but places like Beijing and Shanghai are catching up rapidly relatively speaking (and have already overtaken Hong Kong in terms of nightlife, restaurants, cultural scene, etc.). For the latter, there is really no point to be based in Hong Kong any longer to do business in China - Beijing and Shanghai are just so much superior.
I first arrived in Hong Kong 11 (almost 12) years ago and after stints here, in Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing, I still truly love this place, but I see no real rationale for Hong Kong to be a major a hub going forward (other than the historical reasons mentioned above - most of which are in decline). IMHO Hong Kong has (at least so far failed) to reinvent itself and to create reasons to be really relevant in the future.
Gilles, we're in agreement then. My point being that HK is great for singles/couples without kids (or at least young children). When you have young children and have to figure out what to do with them to get them out of the house you go insane! Shopping malls and walking in built up, congested areas aren't my idea of fun for children and hikes are out of the question until they hit a certain age.
Thunda, finding a spot of grass for a toddler to run around on shouldn't take a monumental effort. Having to drive for 20 minutes or trek through the Tai Tam reservoir to find a spot of grass isn't really ideal would you say? Also, am keen to know where there are decent bits of grass out there (TT reservoir) as we are there often enough and haven't found anything that actually resembles grass children can walk bare foot on. We are a member of a club mainly so our kids can round around on the grass but what about people who don't get a membership and can't afford it?
Beachball, great post. I agree with you completely.
Last edited by SpecialK; 24-02-2009 at 04:09 PM.
Places like the new territories or even clear water bay/sai kung has load of greenery, pollution is way low in these areas and the commute to work could be a bit long to some people (max 1 hour) its still worth it on the weekends.
WTB, I agree. New Territories are better for young kids than the island. Unfortunately when we moved here my husband was not willing to do such a long commute. Can't have everything as they say! If we stay on longer than say, another year, there is a good chance we will move.