December 18, 2015 Print

Hong Kong has long served as a worldwide model for the prosperity that can result from economic freedom. Keeping those freedoms intact and working to expand them requires constant vigilance, however, especially when surrounded by a contrary ideological climate. That’s why the work of Atlas Network partner the Lion Rock Institute is so important. The organization recently celebrated 11 years of advancing free markets and individual liberty in Hong Kong at its annual gala dinner, with more than 250 guests.

“The open secret behind the remarkable rise as well as the continuing success of our own home economy is, according to the words of the Lion Rock Institute, our passionate and firm belief of that ‘potential of the individual and free-market values,’” said John Tsang, financial secretary of the Lion Rock Institute, in his speech at the gala. “Yes, we do take pride in our achievements in realising and safeguarding economic freedom. We do take pride in Hong Kong's own brand of economic success, which is quite unlike the fabrication sort of neighbouring pretenders. So it is immensely satisfying to learn that, with our collective efforts to promote economic freedom continuing to be recognised by a raft of like-minded international institutions, we remain on the right track.”

Tsang pointed out that the Heritage Foundation named Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world for the 21st year in a row earlier in 2015, and Hong Kong also topped an economic freedom list issued by the Cato Institute and the Fraser Institute — despite the fact that the degree of freedom in Hong Kong has declined in comparison to prior years. This makes the work of the Lion Rock Institute all the more important, as it works to maintain the example that Hong Kong sets for the rest of the world.

“As Financial Secretary, I can tell you, it is a great honour to top the list during my watch, but it is not an easy task to stay on top, year after year,” Tsang said. “There are just so many temptations for us to take the easy route to get on the populist freeway. That is why it requires a continuing and steadfast commitment to free-market principles from everyone concerned in our community to fortify that achievement and resist going to the dark side. Indeed, Hong Kong's free-market philosophy has been the foundation stone in the formulation of our public policies, in the sustainability of our economic stability and prosperity, and in the well-being of the Hong Kong society at large.”