‘Hong Kong is world’s freest economy’

January 13th, 2009 - 1:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, Jan 13 (DPA) Hong Kong Tuesday was ranked the world’s freest economy for the 15th consecutive year in a survey by the US think-tank the Heritage Foundation.Singapore was again ranked second in the annual study, followed by Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. The US was ranked sixth, one place lower than last year.

At the opposite end of the survey, North Korea was ranked the world’s most restricted economy, followed by Zimbabwe, Cuba, Myanmar and Eritrea.

Hong Kong scored 90 out of 100 in the rankings, 0.3 points more than in 2008 and some 30 points above the world average of 59.5 points.

Of the 10 individual areas assessed, Hong Kong ranked first in trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom and was in the top 10 for business freedom, monetary freedom and property rights.

The pro-free market foundation said Hong Kong was one of the world’s leading financial centres and its regulation of banking and financial services was transparent and efficient.

Responding to the survey, Hong Kong’s financial secretary John Tsang said: “We are determined to uphold Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world.

“We see the role of the government as that of a facilitator. We can provide a business-friendly environment where all firms can compete on a level playing field.”

A total of 179 global economies were judged on 10 criterion, including freedom from corruption and labour freedom, to decide the Heritage Foundation rankings.

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