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The Hong Kong Government has welcomed the Fraser Institute's ranking of the city as the world's freest economy, based in part on its commitment to low taxation.
Out of 157 countries and territories, Hong Kong and Singapore again occupy the top two positions. The other nations in the top 10 are New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Jordan, Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The rankings of some other major countries are the United States (16th), Japan (26th), Germany (29th), South Korea (39th), Italy (68th), and France (70th).
Among the major areas of assessment, Hong Kong ranks first in "size of government," "freedom to trade internationally" and "regulation."
"Size of government" includes variables such as the top marginal income tax rate and the top marginal income and payroll tax rate in each country, and the income threshold at which these rates begin to apply. Countries with high marginal tax rates and low income thresholds are rated lower.
In order to get a high rating in "freedom to trade internationally," a country must run low tariffs, an efficient customs administration and a freely convertible currency.
"The Government attaches great importance to Hong Kong's economic freedom, and will strive to uphold the tradition of the rule of law and an independent judiciary, a small and efficient public sector, and a free and open business and trade environment, which are the cornerstones of Hong Kong's economic success," a spokesman said.
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