Business New Zealand says the services sector represents a massive opportunity for growth.
An interim report from the Productivity Commission says more than 70% of registered businesses are involved in providing a service, including those in tourism, retail, insurance and finance.
While New Zealand's manufacturing and primary industries are highly valued, the report says more information is needed about how services contribute to the economy.
The report said challenges to service businesses include how to foster competition to improve quality, achieve economies of scale, and ensure the right regulations are in place.
Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said there are huge opportunities to increase productivity and offer high-value New Zealand services overseas.
A final version of the report is due in April next year.