Various studies dispute the best country in the world for doing business, but many agree that the ample business opportunities in New Zealand make it deserving of at least the silver medal. The antipodean country comes highly recommended for its ease of setting up and running an enterprise, as well as its friendly populace and great infrastructure.
Where you choose to headquarter your international business can make a big difference to your experience, your success and your enjoyment of being your own boss. The United Kingdom might not be the best country to help you realise your ambitions, with a recent study ranking it 10th for ease of doing business.
If you have entrepreneurial ambitions, here’s why you should consider doing business in New Zealand.
According to Forbes, New Zealand comes out top in several desirable categories, including Monetary Freedom, Red Tape, Investor Protection and Personal Freedom. It also scores well (or poorly, if you take our meaning) for Corruption and well for Property Rights. A 2011 list saw New Zealand ranking top for speed of starting a business and access to credit and third for ease of doing business.
In the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report, New Zealand was found to be the easiest place for starting a business. Part of this is down to the fact that an entrepreneur looking to take advantage of business opportunities in New Zealand can complete the entire incorporation process in just a few hours online, with only one procedure to manage.
A recent survey named Auckland, which is home to a third of New Zealand’s 4.4 million Kiwis, as the third best city in the world for doing business. According to Lorraine Jennings, Global Mobility Practice Leader in Australia and New Zealand for survey compiler Mercer;
‘New Zealand cities illustrate a stable infrastructure, increased availability of housing on the city fringe and life-style choices that are particularly appealing to the younger generation and this is all good news in terms of NZ based companies attracting international talent.’
New Zealand may be on the other side of the world, but it has evolved into a country that mixes a solitary existence with an outgoing business climate. As Andy Hamilton, CEO of New Zealand business support organisation The Icehouse, explains, ‘New Zealand has, since it was created, always been at the edge of the world. It has always been isolated. For some, that has been a real attractive element. More recently with travel and also how innovations such as fibre and Skype have flattened the world, we have become a hot bed of creativity and to some extent innovation.’
In fact, IT has been a major driver in connecting New Zealand to the other side of the world. It makes it a viable home for your headquarters, but also a secondary supporting arm of your current enterprise.
As James Harbidge, the London-based Business Development Manager for New Zealand Trade and Export explains;
‘ICT is a great leveller. Data is at the heart of ICT solutions and this has no regard for geography – meaning that logistically there is no reason for a Kiwi company to not compete anywhere on equal footing if the approach is right. For those in the UK who might say “But NZ is on the other side of the world” – well that just means that support can be delivered 24/7!’
Andy Hamilton also points out that New Zealand is a self-aware country, building upon its strengths and identifying areas of improvement. This makes it a desirable place for foreign residents seeking international business opportunities.
‘This environment and […] connectivity creates a very interesting and fertile place for expats and New Zealanders. If you can couple that with the lifting skills and realisation that for us to do better as a country we need to sell more of our ideas in global markets, you can immediately see why it can be a fun place to come and visit, let alone live.’
If you look past the business opportunities in New Zealand, you’ll find a country that is just as suited to unwinding as it is to working hard. HSBC’s 2015 Expat Explorer survey ranked New Zealand second in the world for work/life balance, while the UK was all the way down at number 34. It came out number one for entrepreneurship, quality of life, finance and healthcare. Additionally, the survey ranked New Zealand as the second best country for integration, so you won’t need to worry about fitting into the local community or about whether you’ll get along with Kiwi staff and business partners.
Hamilton sums it up well, saying, ‘We are an awesome playground, with great lifestyle and just a short 12 hour flight away from the West Coast of American and southeast Asia.’
New Zealand offers the complete package to expats looking to set up a business. It’s quick and straightforward to start your company and you’ll find a supportive infrastructure. The locals are happy to see you and it’s easy to attract international talent to help you achieve your goals.
As Andy Hamilton explains;
‘We are, at the end of day, a nation made up of people – and our people are friendly, young and open minded. Open spaces, open minds is what New Zealanders are all about.’
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