Surveys: Hong Kong Is Freest Among World Economies

Hong Kong has the world's freest economy, contend two just-released rankings. Singapore shares top honors with Hong Kong, says Canada's Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, with New Zealand and the U.S. following close behind. Meanwhile, the annual index of economic freedom jointly published by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal cites Hong Kong alone as No. 1, followed by Singapore in the second spot and New Zealand and the U.S. third and fourth, respectively. Both Fraser, which ranks 123 economies, and Heritage/WSJ, which ranks 161, take into account several economic characteristics ranging from the size of government to ease of capital flows. Although they agree on the four freest economies, the reports differ markedly on the four least free. Myanmar (Burma), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda are Fraser's lowest rated economies. North Korea, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia are Heritage/WSJ's bottom four.

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