Singapore Displaces Hong Kong as The World’s Freest Economy

Singapore Displaces Hong Kong as The World’s Freest Economy


ASEAN member state Singapore is now the world’s freest economy after Hong Kong has not ranked number one in economic freedom for the first time in the history of the Economic Freedom of the World report produced by the Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organisation.

The 2023 annual edition of the report, published on 19 September, is based on data from 2021, the last year with available comparable statistics across jurisdictions, the Fraser Institute says.

The report measures the economic freedom of individuals—their ability to make their own economic decisions—by analysing the policies and institutions of 165 jurisdictions. The policies examined include regulation, freedom to trade internationally, size of government, legal system and property rights, the rule of law, and sound monetary policy.

In the 2023 edition, Singapore takes the top spot, followed by Hong Kong, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

“This is the first year Hong Kong has not ranked number one on the index since its inception, and the expectation is that its score will only fall further as the Chinese Communist Party continues to suppress freedom of all sorts,” Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute, said in a statement.

Venezuela once again ranks last in economic freedom, while despotic countries including North Korea and Cuba can’t be ranked due to lack of data, according to the institute.

As Hong Kong dropped from number one to the number two spot, Singapore’s scores in economic freedom improved, driven by improvements in its size of government and regulation components, the Fraser Institute said.