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Thursday, January 22, 2015, 15:50

'Occupy' makes HK slip in 'livable' ranking

By Timothy Chui / Xinhua
 'Occupy' makes HK slip in 'livable' ranking

"Occupy Central" protesters occupy the main road in Admiralty, Hong Kong, Oct 5, 2014. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong remains China's most livable city for expatriate workers, despite slipping 16 places to 33rd in a biannual survey by human resources consultancy ECA International.

Singapore has held the top spot for 16 consecutive years, with Hong Kong and Taipei behind Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo in the Asian region.

The impact of the "Occupy Central" movement was the number one reason for Hong Kong's precipitous drop, ECA Regional Director Lee Quane said.

Quane said months of blocked traffic - the result of illegal occupations of key roads - had led to strains on public transport, increasing MTR delays and commute time, lessening the appeal of the city and quality of life.

Pollution also weighed down Hong Kong and many Chinese mainland cities' rankings.

All things being equal, several Western European cities filled in the space left by Hong Kong, Quane said.

ECA's Location Ratings system evaluates a host of factors to form an assessment of the overall quality of living in over 450 locations worldwide.

Factors assessed include climate, availability of health services, housing and utilities, isolation, access to a social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, personal safety, political tensions and air quality.

"The fact that Singapore comes out top time and time again does make it a very attractive proposition for companies looking to set up in the region, particularly when conditions in Hong Kong have deteriorated a little," said Quane.

"Nevertheless, it is important to put this into perspective. Overall Hong Kong does still remain one of the easier places in the world for an outsider to adjust to living and working in," Quane added.
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