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The CPA Australia's 2017 Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey suggests Kiwi firms are comparatively complacent about the risk of cyberattacks, less geared up for digital sales, have the second-lowest level of expected product innovation - only Australia is lower - and low percentages of revenue received from digital payment options.
New Zealand firms also stand out for having the lowest export sales growth expectations in the region.
The CPA Australia survey of business conditions for small businesses in 2017 took its results from 2952 businesses across Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.
Of these, 606 were Chinese, 511 were Australian, and 306 were New Zealand SMEs.
The survey also found a marked drop in business confidence among New Zealand SMEs, but the authors suggest this was probably a reflection of uncertainty created by a new government being created at the time.
More positively, New Zealand SMEs recorded their best results for growth and growth expectations since 2014, outperforming Australia and Singapore.
New Zealand SME owners were also more satisfied than the average for the survey, with 32% very satisfied versus 23% across the region