Hong Kong has been ranked the freest economy in the world for the 19th consecutive year, according to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation. Singapore ranked second, followed by Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Hong Kong scored 89.3 on a scale from 0 to 100, 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, remains second in investment freedom and property rights, and rises from third to second in business freedom.
The Heritage Foundation complimented 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 was credited as a cornerstone of strength for the dynamic economy. The report also said there is little tolerance of corruption in Hong Kong.
Noting that Hong Kong’s economic interaction with the Mainland has become more intense and sophisticated, and trade and financial linkages with the Mainland have grown significantly, the Heritage Foundation further complimented Hong Kong for continuing to demonstrate a high degree of economic resilience and remaining one of the world’s most competitive financial and business centres.
The report ranked the degree of economic freedom of 177 economies around the world. The 10 factors assessed were business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labour freedom.
Of the other economies in Greater China, the Mainland ranks 136th, Macau is 26th and Taiwan 20th.
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