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Urban Air Pollution
Photo: Euan Straiton
“While Hong Kong still has better air quality than many other cities in Asia, including Beijing, it lags far behind most cities in the developed world with equally sophisticated economies.”

With so much grit in the air, sore throats and respiratory ailments such as asthma are widespread. And that is influencing the exodus of foreign executives “and even some companies. . . .

“A recent survey of American business leaders in the region, conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, found that 79% of executives felt environmental issues are making Hong Kong less attractive to foreign companies.” One recruitment firm advises that a 5% “hardship allowance” should be given to employees because of the air quality.

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The article says that the city of 6.9 million has offices for about 1,200 U.S. companies. Hong Kong is an attractive business location due to its proximity to mainline China, “its simple tax structure, transparency and central location.” Officials are aware of the negative impact air pollution and are trying to change public transportation to cleaner-burning fuel. Nonetheless, it will take time to clean up the air.

What is the quality of air in your community? What initiatives are addressing the environment? How can you contribute to cleaner air?

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