Goldman Sachs CEO says Hong Kong, China travel curbs to impact talent

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SINGAPORE, Nov 17 (Businesshala) – Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said on Wednesday he did not expect Hong Kong and China to ease their stringent travel restrictions anytime soon, and that presented a challenge for employees.

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“I think there are some challenges, China, Hong Kong have a certain outlook for COVID right now and so they are relatively closed,” Solomon said at the Businesshala New Economy Forum in Singapore.

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Solomon said he is making his first visit to Asia since February 2020, an area he usually visits 4-5 times a year.

“I haven’t been to Hong Kong or China and don’t expect to be able to go for long.”

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Hong Kong has one of the world’s toughest coronavirus quarantine rules, with requirements that visitors spend up to three weeks in a hotel after arriving from several countries around the world.

Solomon’s comments came after JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon said he believes Hong Kong’s strict pandemic measures are making it harder for the investment bank to retain staff at the financial center, Businesshala News reported.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday defended the decision to exempt Dimon from serving a quarantine when he visited the city this week, saying JPMorgan was a major bank, which meant that he had “Very important business”.

Solomon said that many of Goldman’s employees in Hong Kong and China have passports from other countries and are caught up in travel restrictions in case they leave or return.

“It’s not a great dynamic for talent, but we’re in a time where we have to navigate that and it’s definitely a headwind for global talent in that part of the world, right now,” he said.

Solomon said he does not expect travel restrictions to be eased in the next few months.

Business lobby groups have pushed the Hong Kong government to ease the strict requirements, saying the rules were undermining the city’s status as a financial hub. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Scott Murdoch; Additional reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainen; Editing by Angus McSwan)

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