Hong Kong keeps top spot as most globalised economy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 4:54am

High internet penetration helped Hong Kong remain as the most globalised economy for the third consecutive year.

Widespread accessibility to broadband connections and a high usage of personal computers had made international trade more viable in the city, said Agnes Chan, regional managing partner Hong Kong and Macau at consultancy Ernst & Young.

In its globalisation index, E&Y polled 730 senior business executives worldwide last year to gauge the degree of globalisation relative to the gross domestic product of the economy. Hong Kong led with a score of 7.81 points, followed by Singapore (6.31) and Ireland (5.63).

Hong Kong led in three of the five categories: exchange of technology and ideas, capital flow, and cultural exchange.

The survey found that computer penetration was 100 per cent in Hong Kong's big companies and 90 per cent among medium-sized enterprises.

"The clear lead that Hong Kong posted in the three categories could secure its top place till 2015," Chan said.

Hong Kong ranked second in 2009.

But expensive housing, poor air quality and inadequate space in international schools had hindered foreign labour migrating to Hong Kong, said Chan.

Foreigner workers must now pay even more for a home in the city after the government began levying a 15 per cent buyer's stamp duty for the purchase of residential property by non-permanent residents.

In terms of trade, Singapore led Hong Kong due to its robust sea trade. Hong Kong fell to third place in container terminal throughput, after Shanghai and Singapore, as sea cargo diverted to terminals in Shenzhen.