The 2016 Index of Economic Freedom Report, released by the US-based Heritage Foundation in Washington DC on February 1, ranked Hong Kong the world’s freest economy – for the 22nd consecutive year.
The Foundation cited Hong Kong’s good government, open economic policy, high level of market openness, fiscal discipline, rule of law, secure property rights and regulatory efficiency, among other plus points as major reasons for the ranking.
Hong Kong achieved high ratings of 90 or above in seven of the 10 criteria measured. Hong Kong topped the world in Business Freedom, Trade Freedom and Financial Freedom. Hong Kong’s overall score of 88.6 is well above the global average of 60.7.
Welcoming the result, the Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said: “The determination of the HKSAR Government to safeguard economic freedom in Hong Kong is beyond doubt, for free market principles are the cornerstones of our sustained economic development and prosperity.”
Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, Clement Leung, welcomed the results, saying “for 22 consecutive years, the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have acknowledged Hong Kong’s adherence to free market philosophy.”
“Despite the challenges in the global economy over the past few years, Hong Kong is fully committed to maintaining sound fiscal policy, preserving our simple and low tax system, upholding the rule of law, and keeping our society free from corruption. This approach forms the basis of Hong Kong’s resilience, economic growth, and prosperity.”
The Index of Economic Freedom ranks the degree of economic freedom in 186 economies around the world.