A global ranking has boosted New Zealand’s position on the table by three places, putting it higher up than Australia for the first time in almost two decades.
IMD’s 2015 World Competitiveness Yearbook
ranks countries based on economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure with New Zealand now ranked 17th
compared to 20th
last year, out of a total of 61 countries.
In first place was the USA, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and Canada.
This was the second consecutive improvement in New Zealand’s standing, having risen from a rank of 25th
in 2013 to 20th
Analysts from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment welcomed the continued upwards move.
“This is good news for New Zealand as it places us closer to the top of the list where many of the world’s most successful economies are situated,” the spokesperson said.
“This year’s climb to 17th
place was underpinned by strong performance in the national ‘factor’ of business efficiency, supported by smaller increases in the areas of government efficiency and infrastructure and partially offset by a decline in economic performance.”
Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, Professor Arturo Bris, said achieving good results in the business efficiency category was difficult to achieve because they were largely underpinned by the strategic efforts of companies striving to maximize positive externalities that originate in economic activities.
“Simply put, business efficiency requires greater productivity and the competitiveness of countries is greatly linked to the ability of enterprises to remain profitable over time,” he said. “Increasing productivity remains a fundamental challenge for all countries.
Meanwhile, the MBIE spokesperson was awaiting a more detailed breakdown of the data and added a note of caution, namely that New Zealand’s increased ranking was contingent on its performance relative to other countries.
“This means that even if New Zealand were to continue to improve against the relevant criteria, its ranking could still fall if other countries perform even more strongly.
“Similarly, New Zealand’s ranking could rise without any change in its criteria, if higher-ranked countries exhibit deterioration in their own circumstances.”
The ranking reflects more than 300 criteria, approximately two-thirds of which are based on statistical indicators and one-third on an IMD survey of 6,234 international executives.