Hong Kong Topped the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom as the World’s Freest Economy for the 25th Consecutive Year
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and educational institution based in Washington, has ranked Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for the 25th consecutive year. Among the 180 economies surveyed, Hong Kong topped the list while Singapore is closing the gap in the second place, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia.
Published on January 25, the American think tank’s latest result has awarded Hong Kong a score of 90.2 on a 100-point scale. According to the study, Hong Kong’s overall score remains unchanged since 2018, with an increment of scores in trade freedom, monetary freedom, and government integrity. Another point worth highlighting is Hong Kong achieved high scores of 90 or above in eight categories, among the 12 components adopted for measuring economic freedom in the report.
12 Factors That Could Influence Economic Freedom of a Country
The index of economic freedom is calculated based on 12 factors that could be grouped into four categories: Rule of law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness); governance (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health); regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); market openness (trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom).
Though Hong Kong trumps Singapore (Hong Kong’s rival financial hub in Asia) to be the freest economy, Singapore is fast catching up as the leader in future. Singapore clinched the second place with a score of 89.4, marking an increase of 0.6 points if compared with last year’s result. In other words, Singapore could soon surpass Hong Kong if it fails to retain the global investors’ confidence. The Lion City’s open, corruption-free business environment, prudent monetary and fiscal policies are among the important factors that retain investors’ confidence.
China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government are extremely pleased with the Heritage Foundation’s high regard for Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for the 25th consecutive year. Paul Chan, the Financial Secretary, commented that Hong Kong’s latest achievement is the benchmark that reaffirms the government’s commitment to upholding the free market principles. It is a recognition towards Hong Kong’s economic resilience, sound legal framework, government transparency, regulatory framework’s efficiency and market openness.
Following the announcement of Hong Kong’s achievement, the Hong Kong government has once again reassured investors that the government will continue its efforts to uphold the country’s fine tradition of the rule of law, maintain a simple tax system, continue to improve government efficiency, safeguard the free trade regime in order to create a robust business environment in Hong Kong.