The report, which is compiled by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, ranked New Zealand 15th in the 63 countries surveyed.
New Zealand dropped one position this year, but are still two spots higher than 19th-placed Australia.
The nations are judged on investment, development, appeal, readiness, education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, remuneration, tax rates and quality of life across a survey of 6000-plus business executives.
Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium placed first, second and third, respectively, while England failed to crack the nod for the top 20.
12. Hong Kong
15. New Zealand
16. United States