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Hong Kong tops Financial Development Index: WEF


16:06, December 14, 2011

HONG KONG, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong tops the World Economic Forum's (WEF's) Financial Development Index for the first time, up from fourth in 2010, according to the WEF Financial Development Index released Tuesday.

Hong Kong has overtaken the United States and UK to take the top spot with a score of 5.16 (scale of 1-7). This is the first time ever for an Asian financial center to be given the top spot. The Chinese mainland ranked 19th, up from 22nd.

"We welcome the WEF's recognition of Hong Kong's rising competitiveness as an international financial center. We are pleased with the WEF's encouraging acknowledgment of our strengths in financial access, business environment and banking financial services, and in particular, our strong performance in some financial services such as IPO activity and insurance," said Mr John C Tsang, the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government.

"We will study the report carefully for any further useful comments on Hong Kong. We will continue to strengthen Hong Kong on various aspects as a leading financial center and as the Chinese mainland's offshore Renminbi center," he said.

Among the seven component pillars assessed, Hong Kong ranked first in "Financial access", and third in both "Business environment" and "Banking financial services".

The WEF noted that the need to make different forms of capital available will be essential for future growth and recovery. The WEF also remarked that the challenge facing various economies in the world will be how to encourage economic activity while not fuelling the next credit bubble, which could cause severe consequences down the line.

According to the WEF, when looking for possible solutions, decision-makers should not lose sight of the long-term consequences while they fix the short-term situation.

The study ranked 60 of the world's leading financial systems and capital markets, analyzing the drivers of financial system development that support economic growth.

The seven pillars assessed are institutional environment, business environment, financial stability, banking financial services, non-banking financial services, financial markets and financial access.

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