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Global Competitiveness Report: Sharpen up!

9 October 2008

Global Competitiveness Report: Sharpen up!

The latest Global Competitiveness Report shows New Zealand in 24th place among 130 countries, the same ranking as last year.

The annual survey ranks countries according to their ability to compete internationally using factors such as markets, institutions, infrastructure and human resources.

Business NZ is a partner in the international survey. Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly says the survey helps focus business and policy makers on areas for improvement.

"For New Zealand, the good points can be summed up as excellent institutions, sound rule of law, and very low trade barriers," Mr O'Reilly said.

"Our history as a stable, free-trade country with ethical firms, good shareholder protections and very little corruption is a sound foundation for good business.

"However beyond the foundation we have many areas where we need to be sharper. The survey shows we have thin markets (not much competition), lots of regulation, wasteful government spending, high tax, indifferent infrastructure and a big brain drain.

"There is a pattern among several of these negative variables, for example too much regulation and wasteful government spending results in high tax, and high tax is one of the reasons for a big brain drain. The message to our government about regulating, spending and taxing is clear."

Mr O'Reilly said the survey of business leaders run in conjunction with the Report showed a similar message. New Zealand business leaders surveyed ranked their most problematic factors for doing business, in order, as: inadequate infrastructure, inefficient bureaucracy, high tax, inadequately educated workforce, inflation and too many regulations.


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