A cut in the corporate tax rate and more flexible employment laws are among the policy demands from BusinessNZ's 2014 election manifesto.
The business lobby group's paper makes recommendations to all political parties on policies it says would improve New Zealand's competitiveness.
BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly said: "Policies decided on at election time can have a big impact on the ability of business to provide plentiful jobs and high living standards for New Zealanders.
"Business would like to see policies that allow for this outcome."
The recommendations cover specific sectors such as small business, high-value manufacturing and digital business, as well as regional business needs.
O'Reilly said businesses wanted better results from the education system as many companies were unable to find staff with the right skills.
"They want to see the education system focused more on in-demand skills like technology, IT and engineering," he said.
Tax was another competitiveness issue, O'Reilly said.
"New Zealand companies pay the highest real rate of corporate tax in the developed world, largely because our tax system is so effectively broad-based with few exemptions," he said.
"Businesses would like to see the nominal rate of corporate tax set much lower than the current 28 per cent."
He said better overall regulation, including more flexible employment law, was a key need especially from small business.
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