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HK 'world's freest economy' for 21st year

January 28, 2015

The Government welcomes the Heritage Foundation's ranking of Hong Kong as the world's freest economy for the 21st consecutive year.


According to the foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom Report released in Washington today, Hong Kong achieved an overall score of 89.6, a decline of 0.5 points compared with last year.


Among the 10 Economic Freedom Components measured in the report, Hong Kong continued to achieve top position in business, trade and financial freedom, received the second top score in investment freedom, and saw slight improvement in the scores for fiscal and labour freedom.


The Government said it is committed to the free market principles which are the foundation of Hong Kong's sustained economic stability, growth and prosperity.


The foundation recognised Hong Kong's efficient and transparent regulatory framework, low and simple taxation and sophisticated capital markets, as well as its status as the most convenient platform for international companies doing business on the Mainland.


The foundation stated that the "rule of law is respected, and the efficient and capable judiciary remains independent", but also noted that the institutional uniqueness of the Hong Kong economy had "faded a bit".


In this regard, the Government said it will continue to uphold its fine tradition of the rule of law, a clean society with a level playing field, an efficient public sector, and a simple tax regime with low tax rates. The authority will safeguard free market principles, and maintain Hong Kong's status as an international city.


On Hong Kong's lower score in the perceived level of corruption, the Government said perceptions about corruption in recent years may have been affected by some prominent cases. These cases, however, are isolated since corruption levels in Hong Kong remain low.


On constitutional development, the Government reiterated that it is determined to achieve universal suffrage for the 2017 Chief Executive election in accordance with the Basic Law and the National People's Congress Standing Committee's relevant decisions.

2015 Policy Address