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NZ remains in the ‘elite group’ of most competitive economies

Divina Paredes | June 13, 2017
Ranks 16 out of 63 economies in the annual survey by IMD Business School.

Dr Christos Cabolis explains the inclusion of the executive survey in the ranking. 

The hard data tells us what happened the year before, says Cabolis. "The perception data answers in the last two months (February to April) reflect what people believe about the future."

Bris says the top 10 in the list are the most promising for the long-term in the world economy. 

"If I have to choose countries to invest money in the coming five to 20 years, I will choose the top 10 or top 20," says Bris.

Bris says when looking at economies, it is important to ask three questions:

First, does the country have a good government that enforces good regulation, is financially healthy, and one that is transparent and not corrupt?

Second, does the country have a strong private sector, meaning the companies generate jobs, [are] managed by executives who have the right values, are entrepreneurial and socially responsible?

Third, does the country have good infrastructure (roads, airport and educational system)?

"If the answer to most is yes, you have a competitive country."

Cabolis says essentially the economies that have an open mind and a positive attitude always perform much better with respect to competitiveness. "In this case, New Zealand performs well."

Cabolis explains that infrastructure also includes technology presence.
In the last few years, technological innovation completely changes the way people do business with the government and the way society behaves
"It is not only important to possess a particular technology. It is important to use technology and extend the technology to new practices to increase efficiency," he says.

He says disruption impacts the business environment, industries and government.
"You can't predict disruption," he says. "We think the economies that are able to adopt [technology] very easily and are characterised by agile businesses are most probably better in handling disruption.
He says they try to introduce these concepts in the new competitiveness ranking. 

Assessing the scientific and technological performance is crucial in recognising the country's standing in the digital transformation currently undergoing in the worldwide economy.

Digital competitiveness is defined as the capacity of an economy to adopt and explore digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society in general.

He explains the survey quantifies digital competitiveness by utilising three factors: knowledge, technology environment and future readiness.These factors allow the country to be ready for future changes, says Cabolis.

New Zealand's ranking dropped a bit in overall digital performance. It ranks number 14, down from 10, in terms of digital competitiveness.But Bris notes, it is "extremely well in a position to be digitally competitive".
He points out business agility for New Zealand has declined for significantly over the past three years.


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