As foreign workers left, border restrictions. Expat life is, by nature, transitory and many stay because companies reduce costs and jobs. As foreign workers left, border restrictions meant companies couldn't easily bring replacements from abroad. Singapore has experienced a drop in its expat population during the pandemic, as national Covid rules and travel policies force some to leave the Asian business hub for places with more relaxed measures, reports Reuters.
But COVID has sparked introspection among many relatively well-to-do expats in Singapore, where foreign workers make up one-fifth of the 5.5 million population. While too draconian for some but welcomed by others, most agree that the once brilliant expat lifestyle is gone, and may not return. But the difficulty in recruiting foreign talent to replace those leaving, combined with the perception of a shortage of local talent, was the second biggest concern recorded in the British Chamber poll. A number of expats told the Telegraph that they felt safer and freer there than in their home countries, as government action had kept Covid-19 hospitalizations relatively low and deaths below 1,000, while keeping schools and businesses largely open.
Australian Krystle Edwards said she has lived in Hong Kong for 12 years and wants to stay, but she and her husband will decide if they leave in September. The impact of ongoing curfews and previous border controls so strict that for months expatriate workers had to seek prior authorization to leave and re-enter the country, or risk being excluded from their jobs and homes, is reflected in the statistics. On the subject of people leaving Hong Kong, Lam said that it is his individual freedom to get in and out. Still, Singapore has made it easier for travelers to enter and seems more attractive to expats living in Hong Kong's rival financial hub, which has much stricter rules due to its zero COVID strategy.
In recent months, Singapore has been trying to learn to live with Covid-19 as an endemic disease, gradually reopening its economy and cutting quarantine for vaccinated arrivals through special routes, but for much of the pandemic it imposed some of the strictest restrictions in the world, leaving a profound impact on the local and foreign population. And, while it will be nice to be back on family soil, I am also eager to leave my life here in Singapore. Suspicion of foreigners and lack of prospects for promotion have also shortened the experience of expats in Singapore, said a British banker, who asked to remain anonymous. Experienced expats are sought after for their knowledge and experience and are rewarded with impressive salary increases and promotions.
Expatriate companies and professionals have been attracted to the business-friendly country, one of the safest places in the world with a high quality of life, political stability, skilled labor, ease of travel and low taxes. International companies and expatriate professionals have been attracted to the Southeast Asian nation because of its pro-entrepreneurial stance, its high standard of living and its connectivity to the region, the United States and Europe.