New Zealand becoming more competitive

28 Sep 2017

New Zealand is becoming more competitive.

A global survey shows New Zealand moving up the competitiveness rankings - from 24th to 13th - during the last decade.

The Global Competitiveness Index is a ranking of economic competitiveness, based on economic data and surveys of large businesses in 137 countries.

This year the Index shows New Zealand ranking highly for financial market development, lack of corruption, labour market efficiency, health and primary education, higher education and training, and goods market efficiency.

But New Zealand’s competitiveness is reduced by inadequate infrastructure, inefficient government bureaucracy, insufficient capacity to innovate, inadequately educated workforce and restrictive labour regulations.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the rankings confirmed many of the efficiencies in the New Zealand economy and also pointed to areas where more work was needed, including achieving more infrastructure investment and less labour and overall regulation.

He said this year’s results indicated a seeming paradox in that New Zealand ranks highly for education, yet ranks poorly for an educated workforce and ability to innovate.

“It shows there is a mismatch between the skills required by business and the skills that are being taught in the education system, and points to the fact that we need to equip more New Zealanders with higher-level technical, trades, science, and maths education.”

The top ten countries in the Global Competitiveness Index this year are Switzerland, US, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, UK, Japan and Finland, while Australia ranks 21st.

New Zealand’s changes in competitiveness rankings

Year    NZ ranking

2007   24

2008   24

2009   20

2010   23

2011   25

2012   23

2013   18

2014   17

2015   16

2016   13

2017   13

The complete results of the 2017 Global Competitiveness Index are on www.weforum.org