Hong Kong: Territory has world’s most free economy

16 January 2008

Washington, United States, 16 Jan – Hong Kong is the freest economy in the world for the 14th year running, according to the Economic Freedom Index of the United States Heritage Foundation.

Hong Kong’s place however, clashes with the criticism that its economy is dominated by a handful of family-owned monopolies and cartels, which not only control the prices of specific products, but also block their competitors in terms of access to the market.

Hong Kong’s total number of points in the index fell by 0.3 percentage points to 90.3 percent, out of a total of 100 points, whilst Singapore, which placed second, improved by 0.2 percentage points to 87.4 points.

Hong Kong had a better score than Singapore in four of the ten categories – commercial freedom, tax, investment and finance and Singapore scored better for corporate, monetary and labor freedoms, as well in the government and corruption category.

Both scored the same in terms of intellectual property rights.

Following Hong Kong and Singapore, the foundation pointed to Ireland as the world’s third freest economy, followed by Australia (4), the United States (5), New Zealand, (6), Canada (7), Chile (8), Switzerland (9) and the United Kingdom (10).

North Korea is the country with greatest economic repression, the foundation said, preceded by Cuba, Zimbabwe and Libya.

The Heritage Foundation is one of the most important conservative “think tanks” in the United States, and was founded in 1973. (macauhub)