The Hong Kong government welcomed the latest rankings from the World Economic Forum that name the city the world’s third-most competitive economy, behind only Singapore and the second-place United States.
The government said on Wednesday it always looks to boost the competitiveness and vitality of its local economy, and that it makes strong efforts to sharpen Hong Kong’s long-cherished edges, including its respected legal system, judicial independence, free and open market, low and simple tax regime, highly efficient public sector, as well as its fair and business-friendly environment.
In the health pillar, which assesses health-adjusted life expectancy, Hong Kong received the top score
In its Global Competitiveness Report 2019, the WEF measured the strength of 103 key indicators — including inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs — across 141 economies.
The key indicators in the report were organized into 12 pillars, which included institutions, macroeconomic stability, and health.
The average score across the 141 nations and regions was 61 out of 100, with the WEF claiming that the gap was a greater concern now in the face of a global economic slowdown. Hong Kong scored 83.1 points, up four places from 2018. The crippling impact of the city’s recent intensifying social unrest was not included in the scoring.
Asia’s financial center held the top spot in four subcategories, including macroeconomic stability, financial system, product market, and health. In the health pillar, which assesses health-adjusted life expectancy, Hong Kong received the top score.
However, the territory scored relatively low in innovation capability, coming in 26th place. This underscores the city’s much-discussed weakness and years-long quest to diversify its economy from the dominant financial services and trade to innovation and technology.
The Hong Kong government said it will continue to play the role of the “facilitator” and “promoter”, bankrolling major efforts in infrastructure, innovation, talents and land supply to create an environment conducive to the city’s long-term economic development.
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