New Zealand moves up in global rankings

by Krizzel Canlas29 Sep 2017
New Zealand has moved up in global competitiveness rankings from 24th to 13th during the past decade, data from the latest World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index has revealed.

The index showed New Zealand ranked highly for financial market development, lack of corruption, labour market efficiency, health and primary education, higher education and training, and goods market efficiency.

But improvements were needed in many sectors, with New Zealand’s competitiveness 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 economy. He pointed to areas where more work was needed, which included achieving more infrastructure investment, less labour and overall regulation.

Hope said the findings indicated a “seeming paradox” – in that New Zealand ranked highly for education, yet ranked poorly for an educated workforce and an 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,” he said.

For this year, the top 10 countries in the global competitiveness index were Switzerland, the United States, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan and Finland. Australia ranked 21st.

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