GO TEAM! New Zealand ranks 16th in World Economic Forum's competitiveness rankings

GO TEAM! New Zealand ranks 16th in World Economic Forum's competitiveness rankings
Turns out we’re not just competitive when it comes to getting an oval-shaped ball over a white line on a grassy field.

This week, the World Economic Forum released its Global Competitive Index 2015-2016, which ranks 140 countries according to their economic performance including factors such as innovation, market size, market efficiency, infrastructure, and business sophistication.

According to the report, New Zealand is the 16th most competitive country in the world, up from 17th last year and 18th the year before.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says this year’s results highlight the strength of New Zealand’s institutions and economic fundamentals (New Zealand ranks 1st in financial market development, 3rd in institutions, 6th in labour market efficiency and 8th in goods market efficiency), but point to the need for improvement in areas such as innovation (24th), business sophistication (25th) and infrastructure (28th).

Image source: World Economic Forum

“In our progress towards becoming a more value-added, sophisticated exporter of goods and services, New Zealand performed ‘okay but could do better’ on factors such as collaboration for innovation, government purchasing fostering innovation, investment in R&D and training, availability of in-demand skills, availability of engineers and scientists, availability of finance for innovative start-ups, appetite for entrepreneurial risk, development of unique products and processes, companies’ control of international distribution of their products, and participation in value chains and clusters,” O’Reilly says.

“In New Zealand’s environment for business, areas for improvement include the compliance burden on business, restrictive regulations on hiring and firing, restrictive foreign investment rules, restrictions on hiring foreign labour, lack of ‘pay for productivity’ practices, and tax and benefit policies reducing incentives to work and invest.”

The top ten places this year were similar to previous years’ rankings:

  1. Switzerland

  2. Singapore

  3. United States

  4. Germany

  5. Netherlands

  6. Japan

  7. Hong Kong

  8. Finland

  9. Sweden

  10. United Kingdom

(Australia came 21st in the rankings FYI.)