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The myth of Hong Kong’s ‘free’ economy

Written by
Douglas Parkes

Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development (IMD) just ranked Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for the second year in a row. On the surface this sounds like good news but whatever the macroeconomic truth of the report, on the ground in Hong Kong the situation is very different. Hong Kong's wealthiest families, those almost mythical tycoons, dominate and collude on land ownership, local utilities, transport services and even the supermarkets we shop in. 

“In Hong Kong there is no law against price-fixing and ganging up on would-be rivals, hence the duopoly of similarly cramped, similarly stocked and similarly priced supermarkets everyone loves to loathe.” Sound like a familiar complaint? Time Out demonstrated the fiction of Hong Kong's ‘free’ economy five years ago and, sadly, little has changed. For the full scoop on the Men Who Rule Hong Kong read our original piece.

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