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Single economic market a step closer

Thursday 13 January 2005

Report brings New Zealand/Australia single economic market a step closer

The realisation of the long-term goal of creating a seamless, Australia/New Zealand business environment took a step forward today.

"This government is committed to fostering the business environment. Today's publication of a report on trans-Tasman competition and consumer protection regimes sets the stage for stronger trans-Tasman integration," says Commerce Minister, Pete Hodgson.

The Productivity Commission report, jointly commissioned by the New Zealand and Australian governments, examined the potential for greater cooperation, coordination and integration of trans-Tasman general competition and consumer protection regimes.

It found that there is already a high degree of harmonisation in these areas and recommends a transitional path towards further integration and the long term realisation of a single economic market.

In particular, the report suggests there is scope for enhancing harmonisation of competition law processes and for closer links between New Zealand's Commerce Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

"This report provides a valuable picture of the current state of harmonisation and suggests where further improvements could be made. The task now is to consider how the report could be used to inform future policy development."

ENDS

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