With an uncertain future in Hong Kong, investors look to Singapore

The Millennial Source
4 min readJul 3, 2020

This appeared in The Millennial Source

The rapid industrialization and high economic growth rate Hong Kong saw in the 1960s led to it being labeled as one of the four “Asian Tigers,” with seemingly limitless potential.

Today, though, the situation is quite different. Hong Kong’s political situation has grown more uncertain by the day and now, with the passage of a new national security bill, investors are considering departing Hong Kong for another of the former Asian Tigers — Singapore.

Hong Kong’s situation

Despite the two economies having once been connected and achieving historic economic success together, their paths have diverged more than ever, largely due to Hong Kong’s political and social unrest.

Once a British colony, after 1997, the special administrative region (SAR) was handed back to mainland China provided that the city would continue operating under the one country, two systems framework. However, differences in how this promise was interpreted has led to periodic unrest in the city, especially over the last 12 months.

In 2019, Hong Kong saw an eruption of anti-government protests. Demonstrations that were initially provoked by a contentious extradition bill (now tabled) have snowballed into continual unrest and violence on the island.

In an attempt to quell the dissenting voices and curb the violence, the Chinese government introduced a national security bill that would punish activities related to subversion, terrorism, separatism and foreign interference.

The law’s proposal has been met with a swift backlash from the international community.

The United States announced on June 29 that it would halt exports of defense equipment to Hong Kong and place restrictions on dual-use technology exports as a “direct consequence” of China’s proposed national security law.

Several hours after the US announced the halting of exports, news broke that China had passed the bill, granting the Beijing sweeping powers over the city.

The next day on July 1, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, thousands took to the streets to…

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