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Ministers move CER another step forward

19 February 2003 Media Statement

Ministers move CER another step forward

A significant breakthrough in the alignment of trans-Tasman tax law and a commitment to meet each year were agreed today by Australian Treasurer Peter Costello and New Zealand Finance Minister Michael Cullen.

“The tax change has been long sought and will remove an important impediment to trans-Tasman business. We are pleased to be able to announce it as part of the 20th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations [CER],” the Ministers said.

They noted that CER was one of the most successful economic agreements in the world and had delivered much to both partners. Bilateral trade in goods had doubled in real terms since the Treaty was signed in 1983, and the trade in services was also growing steadily.

“Today’s talks were very constructive and indicative of the steady and practical progress being achieved under CER,” they said.

Mr Costello and Dr Cullen endorsed the benefits of meeting annually given the importance of issues within their respective portfolios to both economies and to the trans-Tasman relationship.

“Our principal focus is to encourage trans-Tasman business through the co-ordination of business, regulatory and tax law. Current work includes possible bilateral initiatives in securities offerings and insolvency proceedings.”

They also discussed how New Zealand and Australia could jointly promote the development and adoption of international accounting standards.

The Ministers agreed that policy co-ordination in these areas had already proven valuable and asked officials to explore ways of enhancing that co-ordination.


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