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HK ranked world's freest economy for the 19th consecutive year (with photo)

     The acting Financial Secretary, Professor K C Chan, today (January 10) welcomed the ranking of Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world for the 19th consecutive year by the Heritage Foundation.

     According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom released today, 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, stays 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 is a cornerstone of strength for the dynamic economy. Moreover, 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.

     Professor Chan said that the 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. We also strive to remove impediments to industries tapping into new markets," he added.

     The report ranked the degree of economic freedom of 177 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 labour freedom.

     Singapore and Australia remain second and third respectively in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.

     Of the other economies in Greater China, the Mainland ranks 136th, Macau is 26th and Taiwan 20th.

Ends/Thursday, January 10, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:50


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