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New Zealand competitiveness rising

Media release

6 September 2012

New Zealand competitiveness rising

This year’s Global Competitiveness Index gives valuable feedback for New Zealand’s quest for competitiveness, says BusinessNZ.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says New Zealand’s rise in overall global ranking, from 25th to 23rd place, underlines the value of the country’s current focus on competitiveness.

“This result is partly due to some other countries’ slip down the rankings - including the US and Denmark - and partly due to New Zealand’s reasonably steady performance and policy path,” he said.

This year the Global Competitiveness Index introduced further surveying of innovation factors, given the importance of innovation to growth and competitiveness.

Mr O’Reilly said innovation was a key focus of New Zealand’s current Business Growth Agenda, and New Zealand’s slight rise in ranking on innovation and sophistication factors, from 28th to 27th place, was welcome but much more needed to be done.

“The Competitiveness Index underscores what we already know – that New Zealand is underperforming in areas including companies’ ability to innovate, clustering of knowledge-intensive businesses, and supply of scientists and engineers. It gives urgency to policy work now being done around education, R&D funding and the cluster functions of the Advanced Technical Institute.”

New Zealand again scored well for its institutions, lack of corruption (1st among all 144 countries surveyed), absence of trade barriers, and ease of starting businesses.

This year’s top 10 ranked countries for overall competitiveness were Switzerland, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, US, UK, Hong Kong and Japan.


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