6 Sep 2012

NZ economic competitiveness rises - report

9:17 am on 6 September 2012

New Zealand's economic competitiveness has reversed recent falls.

The country's ranking in the World Economic Forum annual Global Competitiveness Report rose two places to 23rd - the spot it held two years ago.

Switzerland remained in first place for the fourth year in a row, followed by Singapore, Finland and Sweden.

The US declined once again, falling two places to 7th, while Australia held steady in 20th position.

As in previous findings, New Zealand ranked well on lack of corruption, the ease of setting up a business, and the quality of education, including maths and science.

On the downside, inadequate infrastructure, weak savings rates and balancing the budget are again identified as areas needing improvement.

The report urges the Government and business community to focus on turning more of the country's commodities into high value products.