Hong Kong Ranked World’s Freest Economy

The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung (left), receives a copy of the Heritage Foundation's "2013 Index of Economic Freedom" from its President, Dr Edwin Feulner (right), at the Government House. Mr Leung welcomes Hong Kong's ranking as the world's freest economy for the 19th consecutive year since the "Index of Economic Freedom" was first introduced in 1995.
For 19 consecutive years, Hong Kong was once again rated recently as the world’s freest economy by the US-based Heritage Foundation in its “2013 Index of Economic Freedom”, scoring an impressive 89.3 out of 100, soaring well above the global average of 59.6. 

Singapore and Australia retained their second and third position respectively. Of the other economies in Greater China, Taiwan was ranked 20th, Macau, 26th and Mainland China, 136th. 

Among the 10 economic factors assessed by the Foundation, Hong Kong maintains its top position in “trade and financial freedom”; scores second in “investment freedom and property rights” and “business freedom”. 

The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, commented that the HKSAR Government “is determined to uphold economic freedom in Hong Kong, which is the cornerstone of sustained economic stability, growth and prosperity.” 

He said, “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 taping into new markets.” 

Noting that Hong Kong’s economic interaction with the Mainland has become more intense and sophisticated, and its trade and financial linkages with the Mainland have grown significantly, the Heritage Foundation 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 Foundation further described Hong Kong’s “highly motivated and skilled workforce” as a cornerstone of strength for its dynamic economy; and Hong Kong’s “highly competitive regulatory regime, coupled with an efficient and transparent legal framework”, also helped sustain its vibrant engagement in global trade and investment. 

The Heritage Foundation surveyed annually the degree of economic freedom of 171 economies globally. The 10 factors assessed are: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, labour freedom and freedom from corruption.