Hong Kong remains the freest economy in the world, with Singapore in the second spot, according to a Canadian public policy think-tank.
In its latest report on world economic freedom, Fraser Institute ranked Hong Kong No. 1 out of 157 countries and regions, helping the city hold on to its distinction for several years in a row.
China was ranked 111 on the list, while Venezuela was placed in the last position.
Among the major areas of assessment, Hong Kong took the top rank in “size of government”, “freedom to trade internationally” and “regulation of credit, labor, and business”, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The city was in the 14th place on the parameter of “legal system and security of property rights” and in the 41st spot with regard to “access to sound money”.
“Hong Kong remains number one but because democracy is the best safeguard of freedom, if China, — which ranks low in economic freedom – encroaches on Hong Kong, we can expect Hong Kong’s ranking to fall,” Fred McMahon, resident fellow at the Fraser Institute, was quoted as saying.
McMahon did not elaborate on what exactly would constitute encroachment.
The Hong Kong government, meanwhile, welcomed the Fraser Institute report, saying the result is a testament to the city’s steadfast commitment to free-market principles.
The territory remains committed to maintaining a small government and a free and open trade environment, as well as protecting the rule of law and the judicial independence, it said.
The Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World report measures the economic freedom by analyzing the policies and institutions in various countries and regions.
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