NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 1, 2007

In the World Series of economic freedom, Hong Kong remains the champion, says James A. Dorn, vice president for academic affairs at the Cato Institute.

According to the Economic Freedom of the Word report by the Fraser Institute:

  • For the 11th consecutive year Hong Kong has been ranked No. 1 with a score of 8.9 out of 10.
  • Following Hong Kong are Singapore (8.8), New Zealand (8.5) and Switzerland (8.3).
  • The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada (all tied for fifth place with 8.1).

At the opposite end of the spectrum:

  • India -- the world's largest democracy -- ranked 69th, with a score of 6.6.
  • China (6.3) ranked 86th; Vietnam (6.1) ranked 97th; Russia (5.8) ranked 112th.
  • Zimbabwe, with its total disregard for economic freedom, came in last with a score of 2.9 (North Korea and Cuba were not included).
  • Most African nations fared poorly, except for Botswana (7.2), which ranked 38th.

Hong Kong's ability to maintain its free-market system and its No. 1 ranking is testimony to its people's desire to expand their opportunities by adhering to an open trading system, low taxes, sound money, minimal government regulation, and the rule of law, says Dorn. The key lesson from Hong Kong's "small government, big market" model of development is that economic freedom is the best path toward sustainable development, understood as increasing the range of choices open to people.

Source: James A. Dorn, "Hong Kong's economic freedom," Washington Times, September 27, 2007.


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