Hong Kong Still The Freest Economy

Hong Kong is still the freest economy in the world. This is according to the Heritage Foundation. The Economic Freedom Index, which was released January 12, says that Hong Kong's score remains unchanged at 89.7 out of the highest possible 100 in their test. However, fellow Asian country, Singapore gained 1.1 points on financial freedom.

"There is a possibility Singapore may overtake Hong Kong in the near future as the state has more room for improvement in banking," said Terry Miller, the US foundation's index editor, adding Hong Kong's major drawback is an oversized fiscal surplus.

"There's no reason the government should have a surplus more than the monetary base," said Hugo Restall, editorial page editor for Wall Street Journal Asia. That surplus, he said, should be cut by at least half and the profits tax rate trimmed to 15 percent.

The United States fell one place to ninth, mostly due to large government spending and the passage of President Barack Obama's health-care plan. That despite large commercial spending such as that of preparations for the upcoming Super Bowl 2011 online.