A global survey showed New Zealand is moving up the economic competitiveness rankings, rising from 24th to 13th during the past decade.

The Global Competitiveness Index, from the World Economic Forum, is based on economic data and surveys of large businesses in 137 countries.

It places New Zealand above Canada, Austria and Australia and below Denmark, Norway and Finland.

The most problematic factors for doing business in New Zealand were an inadequate supply of infrastructure, inefficient government bureaucracy, insufficient capacity to innovate, and an inadequately educated workforce.

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New Zealand ranked 3rd for its lack of corruption and political stability, below Singapore and Finland.

BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said the rankings "confirmed many of the efficiencies in the New Zealand economy" and "pointed to areas where more work was needed, including achieving more infrastructure investment and less labour and overall regulation".

Hope said the results indicated a seeming disparity where New Zealand ranks highly for education, but ranks poorly for an educated workforce and ability to innovate.

"It shows there is a mismatch between the skills required by business and the skills that are being taught in the education system, and points to the fact that we need to equip more New Zealanders with higher-level technical, trades, science, and maths education," he said.

The Index showed New Zealand ranks highly for financial market development, lack of corruption, labour market efficiency, health and primary education, higher education and training, and goods market efficiency.

The top 10 countries in the Index were Switzerland, United States, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan, and Finland.