New Zealand has ranked fourth among the most attractive countries in the world for supporting and enabling dynamic business growth in the latest Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index.

The survey ranked countries across five categories including business operating environment, science and technology, labour and human capital, financing environment and economics and growth.

The Global Dynamism Index (GDI) defined dynamism as a combination of factors that highlighted a country's growth potential.

Greg Thompson, partner at Grant Thornton New Zealand, said the index showed that New Zealand had a great platform from which businesses could grow.


"But that is only part of the story. The key is turning potential into reality and actually seeing our businesses grow and prosper with resultant GDP growth", Thompson said.

Australia topped the rankings, climbing from seventh last year. Chile in second place was the top-ranked emerging economy, just ahead of China, which rose 17 places from last year.

The GDI survey follows the recent World Economic Forum release of its annual Global Competitiveness Report which ranked New Zealand's financial market fourth in the world.

Thompson said the GDI survey was good news for New Zealand despite the survey identifying a lack of investment in research and development and IT.

New Zealand ranked highly in areas including political stability, legal and regulatory risk and employment.

A noticeable problem with our economy was the ageing population, Thompson said.

"With a low percentage of our population under 30 years, the increasing burden on our taxpayers as more people draw superannuation and come to rely more heavily on our health system will impact our ability to grow our economy", he said.

New Zealand Initiative's executive director Oliver Hartwich said he was surprised Australia was ranked higher in political stability.

"I think the results paint a clear picture about where we are heading as an economy", Hartwich said.

Of those that topped the index last year, Singapore was the big loser dropping from 1st to 7th, Finland dropped from 2nd to 5th equal, Sweden 3rd to 9th and Israel 4th to 8th. New Zealand placed 13th last year.