A report by a leading accountancy and business advisory firm says New Zealand companies invest far too little overseas.
Grant Thornton said only 9% of New Zealand companies have international operations, below 16% in Australia and way beneath the global average of 36%.
Grant Thornton partner Simon Carey said the figures demonstrate New Zealand's insular thinking and continued reliance on traditional markets.
He said they also show bilateral trade agreements, such as the free trade agreement with China, are not being exploited to the full.
The report said New Zealand companies wanting to expand overseas face several obstacles, including finding the right employees, currency fluctuations and legislative and regulatory impediments.