Economic Freedom

Are Hong Kong's freedoms really under threat?

Are Hong Kong's freedoms really under threat?

There is a danger that we take international indexes of freedom too seriously.

Friday, 25 January, 2013, 2:35am 8 comments

'Freest economy' costs far more than it's worth

Most Hong Kong people do not benefit from the economic freedom of the city. Photo: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

Newspapers give you the latest news but often not the context. Over two days in different sections of the paper last week, we carried stories about the failure of wage rises to meet price increases in the last decade; Hong Kong again being named the world's freest economy; and property tycoon Li Ka-shing continuing his reign as the city's richest man.

14 Jan 2013 - 3:31am 2 comments

Think tanks free to fool themselves about economic freedom

Think tanks free to fool themselves about economic freedom

On a visit to Vancouver I once confronted Michael Walker, the founder of the Fraser Institute, with his invariable findings that Singapore and Hong Kong are the freest economies on earth.

13 Jan 2013 - 5:13am 3 comments

Hong Kong risks losing its 'world's freest economy' title, says report

Chief executive Leung Chun-ying has proclaimed a need to adopt 'big government', a departure from his predecessors' attempts to stick to the small-government approach. Photo: Xinhua

Hong Kong risks losing its prestigious title as the world's freest economy if the government presses ahead with its populist policies, the Heritage Foundation warned, in the release of its annual index yesterday.

11 Jan 2013 - 4:24am 11 comments

Hard to take the Economic Freedom index seriously

Mary Schapiro

Hong Kong was yesterday ranked the world's freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom, which is put out by the Heritage Foundation in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. It's been published for 19 years and Hong Kong has won it every time. Yet the longer its goes on the more absurd it seems.

11 Jan 2013 - 3:56am

Hong Kong again named world’s freest economy

Heritage Foundation president Edwin Feulner announcing the 2013 index in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: Stuart Lau

Hong Kong has topped the world in economic freedom for the 19th consecutive year, according to the Heritage Foundation’s index announced on Thursday.

But the conservative American think tank warned that the city could lose the top spot it has occupied since the index started in 1995.

10 Jan 2013 - 3:29pm 2 comments

'Locals only' policies must not compromise economic freedom

View of the Hong Kong Central Hospital in Mid Levels. SCMP

The role of our private hospitals appears to change according to governments' preferences and social sentiment. Five years ago, medical services were deemed by the then chief executive, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, to be one of the pillar industries that could bring Hong Kong's economy to new heights. But his successor, Leung Chun-ying, apparently thinks otherwise.

7 Sep 2012 - 9:27am 3 comments

Eastward shift

The last economic era, roughly from 1980 to 2008, was the most successful combination of globalisation, growth and prosperity in history. The West benefited but, more importantly, this was when 'the rest' came on board: 'underdeveloped countries' cast off post-colonial isolation and embraced the world economy.

27 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Hidden dangers of the politicians' happy talk

As my good friend Lai See pointed out last week, there's been an awful lot of nonsense talked recently about happiness.

In the United States, the new speaker of the House of Representatives - second in line to the presidency - is fond of talking about how the right of Americans to happiness is enshrined in the US Constitution.

24 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Free, but fair?

It's that time of year. The US-based Heritage Foundation has once again declared Hong Kong to be the world's freest economy - ahead of Singapore, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States, in that order.

16 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Must protect the freedom of everyone in HK

The debate in these columns about the respective merits of rights and responsibilities shows no signs of abating. Nor will it, I suppose, in the run-up to the handover. However, the issues that matter have often taken a back seat in a simplistic analysis in which the points that are made are framed in terms of race and culture.

30 Apr 1997 - 12:00am