New Zealand has been named the world's second best country to
do business in, behind only resurgent Ireland in the annual
list compiled by Forbes' magazine.
The survey found New Zealand had the best scores among all
countries for personal freedom and investor protection, as
well as lack of red tape and corruption.
Earlier this week, corruption watchdog Transparency
International praised New Zealand as one of the least corrupt
countries in the world.
Despite being the smallest economy to make the top 10, with
an annual Gross Domestic Product of US$170 billion, New
Zealand was one of the fastest growing last year with GDP
jumping by 2.5 per cent.
HSBC's Sydney-based chief economist for Australia and New
Zealand, Paul Bloxham, predicts GDP growth could be 3 per
cent or more next year. Even the IMF's estimate of 2.9 per
cent growth, puts NZ ahead of Australia.
Yet there are even more positive signs that New Zealand is
entering into a 'boom' period.
Prices for our dairy products remain solid as demand from
Chinese consumers continues to push the market higher. The
high dairy prices, helped pushed New Zealand's terms of trade
to a 40-year-high this week.
And over the past year the unemployment rate has fallen from
7.2 per cent to 6.2 per cent.
The Forbes survey graded 145 nations based on 11 equally
weighted factors - property rights, innovation, taxes,
technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and
monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market
Top 10 countries for business
2. New Zealand
3. Hong Kong
12. United Kingdom
14. United States
Bottom 10 countries for business
- By Daniel Lynch of NZ Herald Online