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China’s Smog Among Top Recruitment Challenges for Foreign Firms

china_smog1.5ozsz05wejwo0kc4kokws8ws8.5r15frdicg4kos40gwk400wsw.thPollution in China has become a  major stumbling block for foreign firms trying to convince top executives to work in the country, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

Some 48 percent of the 365 foreign companies that responded to the 16th annual AmCham China 2014 Business Climate Survey survey said pollution is a difficulty in recruiting and retaining senior executive talent, Reuters reports. Four years ago, only 19 percent of foreign firms said smog was a problem.

Several high-profile executives who have left China in recent years, cited pollution as the main reason, Reuters reports.

Chronic smog has had an increasing impact on business in China.

Record levels of air pollution in December prompted officials to cancel hundreds of flights. In January, Beijing officials temporarily shut down factories after heavy smog enshrouded eastern China and pushed the air quality index to severe levels. Beijing’s city government ordered 103 heavily polluting factories to suspend production for several days.

China has a strong policy framework in place to transition to a green economy, but significant challenges — including pollution problems — stand in the way, according to a study sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The joint report released in December 2013 recommends China increase its investment in research and development to tackle the country’s environmental challenges and to help its green industries compete globally. It also recommends stricter enforcement of environmental regulations, clearer policies for grid capacity construction, sewage treatment and local pollution of the cement sector also are required to drive green development.

Photo Credit: Beijing air pollution by Hung Chung Chih/Shutterstock.com

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