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Strengthening trans-Tasman economic relations

Joint Press Release - Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand

13 December 2012

Strengthening trans-Tasman economic relations
Joint scoping study by the Australian and New Zealand Productivity Commissions released

Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and John Key today released the joint scoping study by the Australian and New Zealand Productivity Commissions identifying possible options for further reforms that would boost productivity, improve competitiveness and drive deeper economic integration between Australia and New Zealand.

The Prime Ministers agreed to the joint scoping study in January 2012 for consideration at their 2013 Leaders’ meeting, which will mark the 30th anniversary of the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement.

The report finds that, today, Australia and New Zealand are among the world’s most closely integrated economies, with the Closer Economic Relations at the core of this. This joint study looks back on what has been achieved, and forward to what more can be achieved as both countries pursue their shared aspirations in the Asian Century.

The Governments of Australia and New Zealand are firmly committed to further strengthening our economic relations. The Closer Economic Relations and the Single Economic Market agenda have brought down barriers to trade, reduced costs for business, encouraged investment and created jobs and economic growth for both Australia and New Zealand.

Australia and New Zealand also work closely together to promote trade in goods and services, and investment in the Asia Pacific region through APEC and the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, and through negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The successive rounds of integration of our economies have contributed to the prosperity of both countries.

The Productivity Commissions identify more than 30 initiatives in their report aimed at further integrating the two economies to mutual benefit, including through reductions in regulatory and other barriers to trade in goods and services, to foreign investment and to people movement between the two countries.

The Productivity Commissions also found that there is further potential for each government to cooperate with and learn from the other in policy development, service delivery and regulatory approaches.

In welcoming the report, Prime Minister Gillard has noted that this report from the two Productivity Commissions presents the most important opportunity for many years to shape the next steps in trans-Tasman economic integration in this the Asian Century. The report provides a thoughtful analysis of our economic relationship and considers the scope for its future development to create jobs and boost productivity for both Australia and New Zealand.

Prime Minister Gillard acknowledged the relationship which has developed through the Closer Economic Relations agreement has served both countries well for nearly 30 years, making Australia and New Zealand two of the most integrated economies in the world.

Prime Minister Key agreed on the importance of the Closer Economic Relations agreement noting that the report provides recommendations to assist the shared goal of a Single Economic Market to increase trade and create a seamless business environment across the Tasman. It also emphasises that the integration of our economies, and our commitment to an international partnership, will support our joint interests in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Prime Minister Key also recognised that this study into shaping the future of trans-Tasman economic relations comes as both countries prepare in 2013 to mark the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Closer Economic Relations agreement.

Both Prime Ministers will consider the report’s recommendations in detail and opportunities to further the trans Tasman economic relationship at their annual leaders’ meeting, which will be held in New Zealand in February next year.

The Productivity Commissions’ final report can be found on the joint scoping study website:
Australian Productivity Commission:
New Zealand Productivity Commission:

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