Inquiry into New Zealand’s most productive firms confirmed

The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to identify policies and interventions that could maximise the economic contribution of New Zealand’s frontier firms.

The commission has received the terms of reference from the Minister of Finance which outline the context and scope of its new inquiry, a media release from the commission says.

“New Zealand is not a typical OECD economy. There are many factors behind our poor productivity performance”, says inquiry director, Steven Bailey. “But the performance of New Zealand’s leading firms is vital to our productivity.”

“The commission looks forward to unlocking the potential of our most productive firms versus their international counterparts, identifying opportunities to build comparative advantage and improve macro-productivity growth.”

The commission will also investigate how innovations of knowledge and technology can diffuse more effectively from frontier to other firms in New Zealand.

“This new inquiry will build on our recent inquiry into Technological change and the future of work and previous research into firm-level productivity. We look forward to analysing this sector further.”

Bailey says the success of the inquiry will rely on the input, knowledge and advice of the sectors concerned.

“Meaningful engagement is a key part of all our inquiries and the Commission looks forward to working alongside firms, their employees, trade unions, agencies, industry bodies and other interested parties throughout the inquiry process to better understand the contribution of frontier firms in the economy.”

The commission will begin this inquiry with the publication of an issues paper outlining its proposed approach, the context for the inquiry and a list of key questions to be addressed. The commission will seek submissions from all interested parties and consult broadly to help inform and ground its analysis. Its final report to the Government is due by March 31, 2021.


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