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Investing in New Zealand Guide 

by MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Published: June, 2021

Submission: June, 2021


New Zealand is an open and competitive economy with a population of around five million.

The country has a range of strong manufacturing and service sectors which complement a highly efficient agricultural sector. Technology is now New Zealand’s third largest export sector behind tourism and dairy. It is both important for the future prosperity of New Zealand and the fastest growing segment of the economy, generating 8% of our GDP and 9% of our exports.

New Zealand’s economy is operating in a low interest rate environment and is strongly trade-oriented with the agricultural, horticultural, forestry, mining and fishing sectors – all playing an important role in the export sector and employment. Overall, the primary sector contributes to over 60% of New Zealand’s merchandise exports.In December 2020, the Economic Update for the Primary Industries predicted that export revenue is forecast to fall 1% to NZD47.5 billion for the year ending June 2021, due to an expected strengthening New Zealand Dollar and a lower outlook for meat and wool, dairy, and seafood caused by COVID-19 challenges. This is forecast to more than offset a recovery in forestry and continued strength in horticulture exports. In 2022, export revenue is forecast to increase 3.6% to NZD49.2 billion.

Foreign investment is generally welcomed, and all levels of government are keen to promote business, economic development and employment growth. In the latest World Bank Doing Business report, New Zealand was ranked first in both the ‘Ease of doing business’ and the ‘Starting a Business’ categories. The findings in this survey complement the findings in the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom, compiled by the Heritage Foundation, which ranked New Zealand second in the world on the economic freedoms measured. New Zealand has also been ranked as the least corrupt country by Transparency International in its latest Corruption Perceptions Index.

New Zealand’s economic growth prior to COVID-19 was consistently strong. The country’s robust primary sector means that New Zealand is positioned to weather the ensuing economic disruption better than a number of other developed nations. The strength and durability of the country’s economy can largely be attributed to the following factors: 

  • a strong primary sector that is quick to respond to global opportunities;
  • a marked increase in the flexibility of the economy, leading to a much more dynamic economy able to respond to shifts in markets and manage significant economic shocks;
  • a sound and sustainable macroeconomic framework, leading to a marked reduction in economic volatility, allowing households and businesses to plan for greater certainty; and
  • a marked increase in the efficiency of the government sector.

This highlights that, notwithstanding global uncertainty and downstream issues, New Zealand’s business environment is sound. Aspects such as a reasonably predictable policy environment, clear property rights, and high levels of trust and transparency provide a sound basis for sustained growth.

If you are thinking about investing in New Zealand, or establishing a business, talk to one of our experts.

Thinking about moving to New Zealand? Find out how we can help with your immigration journey.

Click here to download the Guide.



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