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TMCNet:  HK ranked world's freest economy for 19th consecutive year

[January 10, 2013]

HK ranked world's freest economy for 19th consecutive year

HONG KONG, Jan 10, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Hong Kong's acting Financial Secretary K C Chan on Thursday welcomed the ranking of Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world for the 19th consecutive year.

According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom released by the U.S. Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong scored 89.3, well above the global average of 59.6.

Among the 10 economic freedom factors assessed, Hong Kong maintains its top position in trade and financial freedom, stays second in investment freedom and property rights, and rises from third to second in business freedom.

The report said Hong Kong's highly competitive regulatory regime which, coupled with an efficient and transparent legal framework, sustains vibrant engagement in global trade and investment.

In addition, the highly motivated and skilled workforce is a cornerstone of strength for the dynamic economy, and there is little tolerance of corruption in Hong Kong.

Noting that Hong Kong's economic interaction with the Chinese mainland has become more intense and sophisticated, and trade and financial linkages with the mainland have grown significantly, the report said Hong Kong continues to demonstrate a high degree of economic resilience and remains one of the world's most competitive financial and business centers.

Chan said the city government is determined to uphold economic freedom in Hong Kong, which is the cornerstone of sustained economic stability, growth and prosperity.

"The government will continue to provide a business-friendly environment for firms to flourish, while establishing an appropriate regulatory regime to ensure the integrity and smooth functioning of the free market," he added. "We also strive to remove impediments to industries tapping into new markets." The report gauged the degree of economic freedom of more than 150 economies around the world. The 10 factors assessed are business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom.

Singapore and Australia are ranked second and third in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.

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