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Draft report - NZ firms: reaching for the frontier

28 frontier firms blue transp

New Zealand Productivity Commission

Date published

14 December 2020

The frontier firms draft report is an in-depth assessment of how the economic contribution of New Zealand’s top firms can be maximised. The Commission found that the productivity of New Zealand’s frontier firms is only about half that found in their overseas counterparts. A completely new approach that learns from other small advanced economies is required. The Commission recommends:

  • A greater focus on exporting specialised products at scale to overcome New Zealand's hurdles of size and distance.
  • An overhaul of the innovation ecosystem to support firms and drive innovation.
  • Focused government investment on areas of existing or emerging economic strength and competitive advantage.
  • Collaborative, focused efforts by the Government, industry and researchers on innovation policy and investments.
  • A number of policy and regulatory changes to support innovation in important areas, including immigration, dairy, GM.

The draft report presents 22 recommendations to overhaul New Zealand’s innovation system and make investments in infrastructure, regulation, skills, research and business support. 


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