The China Quarterly

Research Report

Dangers of Differential Comprehensions of Hong Kong's Competitive Advantages: Evidence from Firms and Public Servants a

Edmund R.  Thompson 

Hong Kong was for several years consistently rated as one of the best places in the world to do business by a number of influential comparative international assessments. 1 However, most of these periodic assessments have recently downgraded Hong Kong, citing government actions as the main reason. This article addresses two questions suggested by Hong Kong's apparent decline: does its government understand what the factors are that had hitherto made Hong Kong such an advantageous business location; and are such factors susceptible to preservation and enhancement by government action?


a The author is grateful to John Child, James Tang, Florence Phua, Qin Gui and Jessie Poon for comments on previous drafts. Any errors and omissions, however, remain the author's. The research was conducted when the author was at the School of Business, University of Hong Kong, which is gratefully acknowledged for financial support.

1 The Fraser Institute, Economic Freedom of the World Report (Vancouver: Fraser Institute, various years), Heritage Foundation, Index of Economic Freedom (Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation and Dow Jones & Company, Inc., various years), International Institute for Management Development, World Competitiveness Yearbook (Lausanne: International Institute for Management Development, various years), World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report (New York: Oxford University Press, various years), Economist Intelligence Unit, Global Country Forecast (London: Economist Intelligence Unit, various years).