Douglas Young calls for a rethink of success that recognises the usefulness of failure. By accepting it, he says, Hong Kong may bolster its entrepreneurship with a new spirit of daring

The media was quick to hail the Heritage Foundation's naming of Hong Kong as the world's freest economy for the 21st year running. But it didn't take long for critics to begin to question the true significance of the honour.

To paraphrase George Orwell: the business environment may be free, but some businesses are more free than others.

With few constraints on monopolies, conglomerates are free to dominate the market, while an artificially limited supply of land means developers are free to manipulate supply and demand.

And, a lack of protection for small local businesses means multinationals are free to come in and squeeze out family set-ups.

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