Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (right) receives a copy of the Heritage Foundation's 2018 Index of Economic Freedom Report from its founder, Edwin Feulner, at Government House in Hong Kong on Jan 31, 2018. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong has been ranked the world’s freest economy for the 24th consecutive year, according to a report published on Friday.
In a press release on Friday, the SAR government welcomed the ranking in the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom report, which was released by the US-based Heritage Foundation.
The city has been ranked the world’s freest economy every year since the index was first published in 1995.
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Hong Kong’s overall score improved by 0.4 point to 90.2 compared to last year, making it the only economy which scored more than 90, and well above the global average of 61.1, according to the report.
The free market principles have long been the cornerstones of Hong Kong’s economic prosperity and international competitiveness
Paul Chan Mo-po
Hong Kong Financial Secretary
"The free market principles have long been the cornerstones of Hong Kong’s economic prosperity and international competitiveness," Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said.
"I am glad that Hong Kong has been ranked the world’s freest economy for 24 consecutive years. Our steadfast commitment in upholding the free market principles in Hong Kong is again affirmed internationally," Chan said.
Among the 12 components measured in the report, Hong Kong achieved high scores of 90 or above in eight, and obtained top scores in fiscal health, business freedom, trade freedom and financial freedom.
The foundation recognized Hong Kong's economic resilience, high-quality legal framework, low tolerance for corruption, high degree of government transparency, efficient regulatory framework and openness to global commerce.
"Notwithstanding the continued improvement in Hong Kong’s performance in the latest report, the government is well aware of the keen competition across the globe and we must constantly endeavor to keep ourselves competitive globally," Chan added,
Chan added the government will strive to uphold Hong Kong’s strengths, including the rule of law and judicial independence, a simple and low tax system, an open and free trade regime, a level-playing field for all businesses and an efficient public sector.
"In addition, the government will inject new impetus for economic growth by enhancing the business environment, promoting innovation and technology development and forging closer economic and trade ties with other economies, so as to strengthen Hong Kong’s leading position as an international financial, transportation and trade center,” said Chan.
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