How to move product market regulation back towards the frontier

April 2011
OECD Economic Surveys: New Zealand;Apr2011, Vol. 2011 Issue 9, p99
Country Report
From the mid-1980s, New Zealand was widely considered to be a leader in liberalising product market regulation (PMR). However, the reform of PMR has lost momentum over recent years. Many areas of PMR are still consistent with best practice, but New Zealand is no longer assessed to be at the forefront of regulatory policy making. Although economic geography clearly offers a partial explanation for the relative underperformance of the NZ economy, restrictive policies in some areas are also likely to be constraining growth in GDP per capita. Indeed, it is likely that being small and distant exacerbates the negative impact of restrictive product market policies on New Zealand's economic performance. This implies a genuine need to shift the regulatory framework back towards the OECD frontier. Ongoing improvements in regulatory governance, minimising the government's influence in competitive markets and lowering barriers to trade and FDI, including ongoing policy harmonisation and mutual recognition with trading partners where appropriate, would all help in this regard.


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