Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How to Make Hong Kong Uncompetitive

How to Make Hong Kong Uncompetitive

Mr. Ryan is a director at the Lion Rock Institute, (The Wall Street Journal , 2008-4-2)

A series of record-breaking fines in American and European competition cases is focusing attention and concern again on the power and purpose of competition regulators themselves – just ask Microsoft. So the Hong Kong government's ongoing attempt to create such a regulator of its own is puzzling, to say the least. Unlike most jurisdictions around the world, Hong Kong does not have a general competition law regulator. (The sole exception is a limited – and unnecessary – regime governing the telecommunications and broadcasting industries.) Yet somehow without such a regulator Hong Kong is consistently rated the freest and most competitive economy on the planet. How can this be? Hong Kong's current "competition regulator" is its economic freedom and open market. The government keeps tariffs low and, with a few well-known and limited exceptions like the horse racing monopoly, it has maintained few government-imposed barriers to entry. This doesn't mean that certain companies haven't been able to dominate particular industries. But their ability to exploit that dominance to consumers' detriment is constrained by the constant threat that new competitors could pop up to challenge them...
To read more, visit http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120708273137381351.html

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