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PM To Lead Economic Mission To Australia

26 May 2002

Prime Minister Helen Clark goes to Australia from 28 to 31 May, accompanied by a high-powered economic mission. Telecom New Zealand chief executive Theresa Gattung will lead the business delegation participating in the mission.

The mission will visit Australia’s three eastern states – Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland – to build awareness of the value of trans-Tasman business to both New Zealand and Australia.

Helen Clark said that New Zealand counted to Australia as its fifth biggest market, and, small as New Zealand is, it ranks as the eighth biggest investor in Australia.

"This mission builds on that close relationship with our largest trading partner.

"It includes leaders from some of New Zealand's most innovative companies, who help portray us as a nation driven by skilled, creative and enterprising people. Together we will work to promote New Zealand as a valuable and accessible trade partner and investment market for Australia.

“The high-value goods and services exported to Australia and the ease of market access afforded by Closer Economic Relations (CER) offer potential for New Zealand to boost trans-Tasman business activity.

“As our economies become more integrated, business decisions made in made in one country increasingly impact on the other. Business beyond Australasia increasingly sees us as one market. Working together, we can secure greater economic benefits for both countries.

“Together, we have the critical mass to present ourselves as a substantial market to the rest of the world.. The combined ANZAC GDP is close to that for all of ASEAN,” Helen Clark said.

The economic mission - the first of its type to Australia - includes 22 CEOs and senior executives from sectors encompassing information and communication technology, biotechnology, creative industries, food and beverages, marine, manufacturing, construction, venture capital and tourism. The Minister of Research Science and Technology Pete Hodgson will also participate.

Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales receive almost 90 per cent of New Zealand’s merchandise exports.

Ends

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