Ease of doing business
Extensive deregulation over several decades has reduced many regulatory burdens and created one of the world's most efficient, competition-friendly economies.
The 2013 World Bank Doing Business report ranked New Zealand third in the world for ease of doing business and first for ease of starting a business.
The findings of this report are supported by the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, compiled by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, which ranked New Zealand the fourth freest economy in the world.
Ready access to banking services
Many of the big international banks are represented in New Zealand through agents or sales offices.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand, whose main function is to implement Government monetary policy according to annual directives, supervises New Zealand's banking system. It also registers and supervises other banks. Find out more.
World class infrastructure
We are a strongly trade-oriented society that has developed sophisticated infrastructure and policies to support companies that do business internationally. We are well connected by efficient technology and logistics. Locally, we have fast digital and wireless networks.
Internationally, we connect to the world through efficient ports, international airports serviced by a wide range of global airline services, and high-capacity submarine fibre-optic cables.
Extensive free trade agreements
New Zealand is a strong advocate for free trade and was the first developed country to enter into a free trade agreement with the People's Republic of China.
We also have free trade agreements with many other nations, including Singapore, Thailand, Australia, the ASEAN nations and Malaysia. Australia and New Zealand have one of the most open economic and trade relationships between any two countries, effectively giving our exporters duty-free access to 25 million people.
Favourable time zone
New Zealand is located in the Asia-Pacific and the first country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to wake up each day.
Our time zone is two hours ahead of the East Coast of Australia, our working day spans the afternoon on the West Coast of America and much of the Asian day and breakfast in Europe. Find out more.
Stable political environment
New Zealand welcomes foreign investment and the Government is proactive in providing an environment that enables investors to relocate and / or collaborate with New Zealand companies.
We are a sovereign state with a democratic, parliamentary government. Transparency International in 2012 named New Zealand the least corrupt nation in the world (together with Denmark and Finland), while the 2012 Global Peace Index ranked New Zealand (together with Denmark) as the most peaceful country after Iceland.
Innovative products and services
New Zealand has a reputation for creating high quality, innovative products and we are active across many markets, including more traditional markets such as agriculture - where it is a world leader - to cutting edge clean technology and IT solutions needed for a sustainable and technology-rich future.
We have taken many 'firsts' to the world, from splitting the atom to creating the disposable syringe. Our small domestic market also makes us a great testing ground for new products and services.
New Zealand is a Western nation with a motivated, creative and skilled workforce. We have leading educational institutions, and the number of people with a higher degree at post-graduate level continues to grow.
English is the main language and around 17 percent of New Zealanders speak two or more languages such as Mandarin, Hindi and Korean. We are also known for our excellent people skills, work ethic and can-do attitude.
We are among the leaders in the world in protecting our natural resources and biodiversity.
We lead global research efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from primary production and, under recent legislation, became the first country in the world to include agriculture in a domestic emissions trading scheme.
We recognise the importance of demonstrating sustainable credentials to people who buy and use our goods, and have strict biosecurity and traceability systems.
We produce up to 75 percent of our electricity from renewable resources such as hydro, wind and geothermal power. This is targeted to rise to 90 percent by 2025 as we further harness our existing resources and utilise emerging energy resources such as biomass and tidal power.
Transparent legal system
The legal system in New Zealand is based on the British model.
There are three branches of the legal system, each with a separate role: the legislature (ie Parliament) makes the laws; the Executive (ie the democratically elected Government) decides on policy and legislative proposals; and the independent judiciary (ie the Courts) applies the law, free from political interference.
This 'separation of powers' ensures that the legal system operates in a fair and transparent way.