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Economy

Hong Kong retains title of world's freest economy

In an index by the Heritage Foundation, Hong Kong has again been rated the world’s freest economy. But its commitment to economic liberties has become less exceptional as average world economic freedom has advanced.

Hong Kong was able to keep its title as the world's most liberal economy for the 20th year in a row, an Index of Economic Freedom for 2014 published jointly by the World Heritage and the Wall Street Journal showed Tuesday.

The latest ratings maintained the southern Chinese financial hub remained the friendliest place to do business with regard to conditions related to the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, limited government and open markets.

"A high degree of market openness as measured by trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom has been complemented by a transparent regulatory environment and competitive tax regime," the Heritage Foundation said on its website.

Global improvement

Living in Hong Kong comes at a cost

However, there were concerns about the perceived level of corruption having the potential to tarnish Hong Kong's overall reputation as a business location.

Singapore, Australia and Switzerland narrowed the gap between themselves and the index leader at the top of the table, while North Korea, Cuba and Zimbabwe were ranked lowest on the index.

The world average economic freedom score for 2014 edged up year-on-year, reaching its highest level since the foundation started collecting data for the annual index in 1995.

hg/hc (AFP, Reuters)

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