Hong Kong has recently won the title of the most resilient economy in Asia, ranking 19th worldwide out of 130 countries, according to the FM Global Resilience Index. Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are also among Asia’s top 5 most resilient economies, ranked 22nd, 26th, 29th and 37th respectively.
The city has been racked by violent political protests that began in March 2019. It suffered a further blow from January 2020 onwards, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed significant pressures on the city’s tourism, F&B, hotel and hospitality sectors amidst stringent border controls and government-mandated social distancing measures. Hong Kong’s unemployment rate has risen steadily for the last 7 months, reaching 5.2% between February and April 2020.
Earlier this year, Hong Kong also lost its title to Singapore as the ‘World’s Freest Economy’ for the first time in 25 years, according to Heritage Foundation’s 2020 Index of Economic Freedom, although it still ranks 2nd globally. “Hong Kong’s economy was rated the freest in the world from 1995 through 2019,” the report reads. “The ongoing political and social turmoil has begun to erode its reputation as one of the best locations from which to do business, dampening investment inflows.”
However, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau is confident that Hong Kong will see a rebound in the rankings, pointing to Hong Kong’s many years ranking first for economic freedom. “I can confidently say that the conditions that have always made Hong Kong a place with a high level of economic freedom won’t change because of the difficulties we experienced in the past,” he comments.