|(Graphic by Alex Tang/China Daily)|
The high-quality legal framework, which provides effective property rights protection and strong support for the rule of law, continues to be a cornerstone of strength for Hong KongHeritgae Foundation
The think-tank’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom Report released on Wednesday gave Hong Kong 89.8 points out of 100, up 1.2 points up from last year and beating Singapore by 1.2 points. The island nation was in second place.
This year, Hong Kong’s overall score improved after two years of decline, thus widening its lead over Singapore and well above the global average of 60.9 points.
"The high-quality legal framework, which provides effective property rights protection and strong support for the rule of law, continues to be a cornerstone of strength for this dynamic city. There is little tolerance for corruption, and government integrity is buttressed by a high degree of transparency,” the Heritage Foundation report said.
Out of the 12 components measured, Hong Kong achieved the maximum score of 100 points in fiscal health, and 90 points or more in seven other areas including business freedom, tax burden and property rights.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po welcomed the ranking, saying Hong Kong’s commitment to safeguarding free market principles was once again affirmed.
"On top of maintaining our favorable business environment, free trade, a simple and low tax regime, the rule of law and independent judiciary, the government will also strive to enhance our financial infrastructure and foster economic cooperation with major trading partners so as to strengthen Hong Kong’s leading position as an international city,” Chan said in Thursday’s press statement on the report.