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Ministers to attend CER annual meeting

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade
Media statement

30 July 2008


Ministers to attend CER annual meeting in Australia


New Zealand and Australian trade, industry and agriculture ministers are to meet for the annual Closer Economic Relations Ministerial Forum in Melbourne tomorrow, which also marks the 25th anniversary year of the Australian-New Zealand relationship.

The Ministers attending the meeting are Trade Minister Phil Goff, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton and Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel. They will meet with Australia Trade Minister Simon Crean, Agriculture Minister Tony Burke, Industry Minister Kim Carr and Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law Nick Sherry.

"This year the CER Ministerial will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of CER. The CER agreement has been proclaimed by the WTO as the world's best quality - and a model - free trade agreement between two countries," Phil Goff said.

"Both countries have benefited significantly from CER, and our total two-way trade now exceeds $23.5 billion. Over the past year, New Zealand exports to Australia grew by 13.4 per cent, while imports from Australia have increased 5.2 per cent.

"This meeting will seek to continue to build on CER towards the goal of a Single Economic Market. It will cover a range of matters of mutual interest, including regional and multi-lateral trade and biosecurity issues and recent achievements under the Single Economic Market agenda. Ministers will also discuss ways to enhance regulatory coordination and will finalise an agreement that facilitates trans-Tasman civil court proceedings.

"The meeting takes place within the context of an excellent and strengthening relationship between Labour governments on both sides of the Tasman. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has affirmed the centrality of the CER relationship, which he backed up by sending a six-strong Ministerial delegation - the largest ever - led by Deputy PM Julia Gillard, to the June Leadership Forum in Wellington," Phil Goff said

"Both governments are committed to working towards deepening CER and building a seamless trans-Tasman business environment to support our businesses in meeting the challenges of an increasingly competitive global environment.

"CER underpins and builds on the strong and deep ties and values New Zealand and Australia share.

"We will continue to build on the success of CER to deepen our bilateral trade relationship, and because of our similar approaches to international trade policy we will naturally continue to cooperate on many significant trade issues," Mr Goff said.


ENDS

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