More than a million people die every year from air pollution in China, which has the fastest growing economy in the world. But how do you convince people to come and work in what is ALSO the most polluted city in the world? China’s big pollution problem (which blows around the globe) may cause a major slowdown in their economic development plans.
Foreign workers are already streaming out of the country. In the April 2nd edition of the Financial Times, Jamil Anderlini quotes business manager Chad Forrest as saying, "We’re anticipating this summer will be a very big season [of moves out of Beijing] for us. It seems a lot of people, particularly families with small children who have been here a few years, are reconsidering the cost-benefit equation and deciding to leave for health reasons." This is especially true for foreign-born doctors at hospitals which serve these expat workers.
Anderlini quotes Michael Namatinia, the president of an Israeli software company, as saying, "We tried to recruit someone to run our North Asia operations from Beijing but after finding a suitable candidate and negotiating for a month the person’s wife vetoed the move because of air pollution."
NPR.org quotes human resources researcher Barbara Finamore as saying, "When you get off the airplane, if you were to travel to Beijing, you would immediately feel your eyes stinging and your throat rasping. There are days when you cannot see the building across the street."
Anderlini quotes Michelle Frazier, the wife of a Nokia marketing executive who relocated to Beijing from Denmark, as saying, "Our kids can’t play outside or they have to wear face masks when they go out. It’s like something out of a science fiction novel."
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