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Goff to address Leadership Forum

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

28 April 2005

Goff to address Leadership Forum

Foreign Minister Phil Goff is to speak on relations between Pacific Rim powers China, the United States and Japan at this weekend's Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Melbourne.

The Forum will discuss movement towards a trans-Tasman single economic market but will also look outwards at New Zealand and Australia’s shared and separate links with other countries in the region.

“New Zealand and Australia both have extensive economic and political links with China, the US and Japan, but that is only half the story of why they are important to us. They are clearly the dominant powers of the Asia-Pacific, and the interplay between them makes a huge contribution to the continuing prosperity and security of our region,” said Mr Goff.

"New Zealand and Australia's shared commitment to establishing a trans-Tasman single economic market is becoming increasingly relevant as both countries pursue free trade arrangements with other countries. The Forum will explore the nature and future of such agreements, and the potential impact they will have on business and society here and in Australia.

"Deepening the already-close economic relationship between New Zealand and Australia is just as important as broadening links with the rest of the world.

"The goal of a single economic market is about improving productivity and growth in both countries through reduced transaction costs and improved economies of scale. Further integration would spur innovation through greater competition and increase employment opportunities for New Zealanders and Australians.

"This weekend’s Forum, which follows last year's inaugural event in Wellington, has a vital role to play in creating a stronger constituency in each country that is well informed about the other," Mr Goff said.

This year's Forum brings together over 80 leading figures from the business, trade union, academic and public sectors. Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton will join Mr Goff in Melbourne, along with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Treasurer Peter Costello.

As well as the single economic market, free trade, and regional perspectives, the Forum will examine state of the trans-Tasman relationship, a common border, business regulation, financial markets, demographics and labour market developments, and education and research.

ENDS

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