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The Story of Hong Kong


In the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom recently announced by the Heritage Foundation of US, Hong Kong is rated as the world's freest economy for 25 consecutive years. The Foundation commends Hong Kong's economic resilience, high-quality legal framework, low tolerance for corruption, high degree of government transparency, efficient regulatory framework and openness to global commerce. Hong Kong is recognised as an exceptionally competitive financial and business hub, and is one of the world’s most resilient economies.

There are many aspects which Hong Kong can be proud of. On economic freedom, besides the Heritage Foundation, the Fraser Institute of Canada also names Hong Kong the world’s freest economy. On competitiveness, Hong Kong is ranked second and seventh globally according to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) of Lausanne, Switzerland and the World Economic Forum (WEF) respectively.

Turning to business environment, we are the fourth most business-friendly economy according to the World Bank, and our tax regime is regarded as the most friendly to business by the World Bank and the global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Our digital competitiveness is the second best in Asia. As the leading international financial hub in the Asian region, as well as the third largest financial centre in global level, Hong Kong’s performance in financial services is particularly outstanding. Last year, we topped the world in initial public offerings (IPOs), which is the sixth time out of the past decade. We are also the largest offshore RMB business hub in the world and the largest fund management hub in Asia, managing a total of USD3.1 trillion of asset while two-third of which came from overseas.

Hong Kong’s transport infrastructure is named the second most competitive in the world according to WEF. Hong Kong International Airport is the busiest in the world in terms of cargo volume and the third busiest in terms of number of passengers for six consecutive years. Every day, there are more than one thousand flights connecting Hong Kong with over 220 destinations around the world, reaching half of the world’s population within 5 hours of flight time.

Regarding education, three universities of Hong Kong rank within the top 50 around the world while being the top 10 in the Asian region. Two EMBA courses rank the first and the fourth in the global level. The Prince Philip Dental Hospital and the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University are also regarded as the best within the professions by some surveys.

With an ever decreasing crime rate since 1971, Hong Kong is one of the safest cities around the world.

During my stay in Davos of Switzerland for the World Economic Forum annual meeting over the past week, and my visit to Europe, US, Japan and other major economies for international conferences and trade missions over the past two years, we took every opportunity to promote all these advantages of Hong Kong.

Gathered from my contact with overseas businessmen and government officials during the above occasions, they are usually aware of the various advantages of Hong Kong, and regard Hong Kong’s unique arrangement of “One Country Two System”, our independent judiciary as well as the rule of law as the core values which give them confidence in doing business in Hong Kong. Therefore we have to treasure and uphold all these values to sustain Hong Kong’s prosperity and development, and continue to play a unique and irreplaceable role in the further development and opening up of China.

January 27, 2019