HK beats Singapore to secure world's freest economy status for 17 years

08:53, January 13, 2011      

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Hong Kong was rated the world's freest economy for a 17th straight year in a ranking by the United States-based Heritage Foundation, beating rivals Singapore and Australia to the title.

Hong Kong, with a score of 89.7, is well above the world average of 59.7, the Washington's Heritage Foundation said in its 2011 Index of Economic Freedom report released yesterday.

The study assesses 183 economies, out of which China's mainland ranks 135th.

"Hong Kong, one of the world's most competitive financial and business centers, demonstrated a high degree of resilience during the global financial crisis," the report said. Freedom in trade and finance was the biggest boost to Hong Kong's ranking, while investment freedom and property rights, business and monetary freedom all scored highly.

The US fell to the 9th freest from 8th last year and UK slipped to 16th place from 11th due to more policy responses to the global economic turmoil, the report said.

North Korea ranked 179th, bottom of the list, followed by Zimbabwe in 178th place.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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