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Hong Kong has welcomed its retention of the Fraser Institute's annual ranking as the world's freest economy, due in part to its commitment to low taxation.
Out of 159 countries and territories, Hong Kong and Singapore again occupy the top two positions in the Institute's annual Economic Freedom of the World report. The other nations in the top 10 are New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Georgia, Ireland, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, and Australia and the United Kingdom (equal 10th).
The rankings of some other major countries are the United States, 16th; Germany, 30th; Seychelles, 36th; Japan, 40th; South Korea, 42nd; France, 57th; and Italy, 69th
Among the major areas of assessment, Hong Kong ranks first in "size of government" and "regulation," and second in "freedom to trade internationally."
"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. Countries with high marginal tax rates are rated lower. To get a high rating in "regulation" a country must have low tax compliance costs, while "freedom to trade internationally" includes the level of tariffs.
"We will strive to uphold our traditions of an open and free trade and business environment, a small and efficient government, and the rule of law and an independent judiciary, which are the cornerstones of Hong Kong's economic success," the Government said.
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