Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
  News Release  


Hong Kong Ranked World’s Freest Economy for 24th Consecutive Year

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Daniel McAtee in Washington, D.C.: (202) 238 6360

Wing Yan Tong in San Francisco: (415) 835 9315
Melissa Ng in New York City: (212) 752 3320


February 2, 2018 - Hong Kong ranks as the world's freest economy in the Heritage Foundation's 2018 Index of Economic Freedom. Hong Kong has topped the ranking for 24 consecutive years.

Hong Kong's overall score improved to 90.2, making the city the only economy with an overall score of more than 90. Hong Kong saw improvements in the scores for government integrity, business freedom and monetary freedom offsetting a slight decline in the score for the property rights indicator.

Hong Kong is ranked first among 43 economies in the Asia–Pacific region and its overall score is well above the regional and world averages.

The Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, Clement Leung, welcomed the report's findings which reaffirm Hong Kong's commitment to free trade and open markets. "Hong Kong's adherence to free market principles, buttressed by the rule of law, has enabled our city of 7.3 million people to prosper and become an internationally competitive business and financial center. Hong Kong will continue to proudly fly the flag of economic freedom," Mr. Leung said.

The report acknowledges that Hong Kong is an exceptionally competitive financial and business hub and remains one of the world's most resilient economies. It specifically notes that the city possess a "high-quality legal framework" which provides effective protection of property rights and "strongly supports the rule of law." Hong Kong's low tolerance for corruption and high degree of transparency enhances government integrity while regulatory efficiency and openness undergird a vibrant entrepreneurial climate.

The Index of Economic Freedom ranks the degree of economic freedom in 180 economies around the world. The report evaluates economies in four broad policy areas that affect economic freedom: rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and open markets. In addition, the report measures 12 quantitative and qualitative categories: property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity, tax burden, government spending, fiscal health, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom. Scores in these categories are averaged to create an overall score.

Hong Kong has been ranked the world's freest economy since the index was first published in 1995.

2018 Index of Economic Freedom: http://www.heritage.org/index/

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