As a major business hub and finance center in Asia Pacific, Hong Kong continuously attracts expatriates from all over the world. Today, it is home to a very large expat community and is one of the most dynamic cities in the world.
As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong attracts every year many professionals seeking new work opportunities.
Higher earnings and great career progression are some of the key reasons that draw so many professionals to an expat life in the city. Indeed, in 2015, a survey conducted by HSBC ranked Hong Kong as the most desirable destination globally for expats who want to progress their career. The survey also showed that Hong Kong expatriates had the best earning potential, with 30% of them earning more than USD 200,000 per annum, compared to 13% for other expats. And more than three in five expats declared they earn more money in Hong Kong than they did in their home country.
Of course, these opportunities come with a high price: Hong Kong is currently ranked as the 3rd most expensive city in Asia after Tokyo and Seoul, the main criteria being the costs of accommodation, food and education. But thanks to their higher income, expatriates are also able to save more money than they did back home, allowing them to make long-term investments or savings towards retirement.
Quality of life
First of all, Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world, with an incredibly low crime rate. No matter where you are at what time of day or night, you will always feel confident and secure. This safe environment is largely due to the fact that Hong Kong has a first-rate police force. High levels of public surveillance are also strong influential factors, as well as Chinese values.
Moreover, many expatriates are very happy about the fact that the city is very clean. Hong Kong is indeed obsessed about cleanliness and hygiene. Every escalator or elevator button is sanitized several times a day. Eating or drinking in the subway is strictly forbidden and can be punished by a HKD $2,000 fine. As a result, all buildings and transportations are perfectly clean and well-maintained.
Last but not least, in 2016, Hong Kong was ranked as the location with the most efficient healthcare in the world. The city has indeed a fantastic public health system as well as world class private hospitals. Whether you have a common cold or need a surgery, Hong Kong’s medical facilities will provide you an easy access to high-quality treatments and well-trained doctors.
A great place to raise children
As previously mentioned, Hong Kong is an extremely safe city. It wouldn’t be uncommon to see a ten-year-old travel on a minibus by himself or start travelling on the MTR on his own soon after. Hong Kong’s safety definitely brings some peace of mind for every parent living in the city. This safe environment also allows them to let their children be much more independent than in many European countries or in America for instance.
In addition, many expat families are attracted by the high level of the local educative system. Hong Kong offers a wide range of local and international schools for their children from kindergarten to college. However, education costs can be a real burden. According to a study conducted by the Hong Kong Bauhinia Foundation Research Center, the cost of raising a child from birth to college in Hong Kong has been estimated to HKD $5.5 million (about USD $710,000) for a middle-class family.
But as everywhere else in the world, raising a child in Hong Kong has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, most expats who lived the experience confessed that the city and its surroundings were a great place to bring up their children.
Large expat community
In addition to Hong Kong’s great quality of life, the high number of expatriates living in the city makes it very easy for every newcomer to merge into the community. As they share a common experience of settling into a new city and adapting to a new culture and way of life, many expatriates in Hong Kong tend to reach out to new expatriates and help each other. While the largest expat communities are French, British and Australian, you will find many expats from all over the world, giving the city this unique cosmopolitan atmosphere.
If you are living and working in Hong Kong, you will also probably spend a lot of time networking. It is not only one of the easiest ways to discover new business opportunities, but it will also allow you to develop lasting professional and personal relationships with like-minded expats.
A city of contrasts
While Hong Kong is globally renowned for its amazing skyline dominated by skyscrapers, what most people ignore is that the city also boasts beautiful beaches and mountains trails only a few minutes away from the center. Whenever you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Central (the city’s main business district), you can discover Hong Kong’s many national parks, breathtaking coastal views or even enjoy your day relaxing at the beach. As expats in most parts of the world have to choose between a busy city and tropical landscapes, Hong Kong residents can actually enjoy the best of both. Hong Kong is a city that will never fail to surprise you!
In addition, thanks to its privileged location in Asia Pacific, Hong Kong is only a few hours away from many Asian destinations. From Bali to the Philippines, Sri Lanka or Japan, Hong Kong is a massive airport hub that will allow you to get out of the city very easily, even if it is for a short time and with a limited budget.
Ready to move to Hong Kong ?
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