Services crucial to the NZ economy – new inquiry launched
Services crucial to the New Zealand economy – new inquiry launched
21 March 2013
The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate ways to lift the productivity of the services sector. Services are widely supplied and used in New Zealand, and cover a wide range of business activities. The Commission will shortly be asking for public views to contribute to the future development of this important part of the economy.
“New Zealanders deal with services daily, whether they are banking, going online, dining out, or buying and selling a home. As well as accounting for over 70% of New Zealand’s GDP, the services sector is a key enabler of productivity for other sectors through the supply of technical, logistical and other business services” said Murray Sherwin, Commission Chair.
“Over 70% of jobs and businesses are in services, ranging from tourism and travel, accountancy, law and ICT, to scientific and technical services. Given the size, breadth and significance of the sector, improving the productivity of services can have positive effects for the whole economy and for the wellbeing of New Zealanders”.
New Zealand’s services exports were valued at $14.1 billion in 2012 and represented 23 percent of all exports. Travel and transportation services accounted for 67 percent of services exports.
The inquiry will consist of two phases. The first phase will produce a high level overview of the services sector, its characteristics and productivity performance. Building on these insights, the second phase will conduct in-depth assessments and develop policy recommendations for a small number of key issues or services areas that have the potential for the biggest productivity gains.
The terms of reference for the inquiry are now available, and the Commission will shortly release an issues document for discussion.