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Government welcomes Fraser Institute ranking HK first in economic freedom again

     The HKSAR Government today (October 7) welcomes the Fraser Institute's assessment on economic freedom, once again ranking Hong Kong as the world's No. 1.

     "This affirmed our steadfast commitment to free market principles," said a government spokesman.

     "The Government is also committed to maintaining a small government and free and open trade environment, as well as streamlining regulations to improve business efficiency, which are the core aspects underlining Hong Kong's economic vitality," he added.

     Among the five major areas of assessment, Hong Kong ranks first in "size of government", "freedom to trade internationally" and "regulation".

     "We, however, disagree with the Fraser Institute's concern about the rule of law in Hong Kong. The perception or suggestion that the rule of law is threatened by encroaching the Mainland's influence in Hong Kong's legal system is totally unfounded and not supported by any concrete evidence," the spokesman said.

     "The rule of law, including an independent judiciary, is well and alive in Hong Kong and is guaranteed by the Basic Law. The appointment and removal of judges are expressly provided for in the Basic Law to provide the mechanism for an independent judiciary, free from interference by the Government and the Legislature."

     "The rule of law is our core value and the cornerstone of Hong Kong's success as a vibrant business hub and international financial centre. It is also fearlessly guarded by our strong team of unfettered media professionals. As always, the Government would rigorously safeguard and uphold the rule of law," the spokesman stressed.

Ends/Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:48


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