The New Zealand government on Tuesday welcomed a World Bank report that puts the country at the top of the OECD group of developed nations and at third in the world for ease of doing business.
New Zealand came third after Singapore and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the World Bank's Doing Business 2014 report, an annual study of government regulations and their effect on business in 189 countries and regions.
A statement from the World Bank on Tuesday said New Zealand has made sustained efforts to improve its business climate in the past year and had made it easier to enforce contracts by implementing an electronic case management system, which improved the recording of court cases, lowered costs and shortened resolution times.
Economic Development and Small Business Minister Steven Joyce noted that New Zealand ranked first in the world in the categories of starting a business and investor protection.
"The fact that New Zealand continues to rank so high sends a clear message that we are an ideal country for business investment, " Joyce said in a statement.
While New Zealand is in third place for the second year running, improvements to the business regulations are evident in a number of areas, said Joyce.