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CER Anniversary - Could the Critics be Wrong?

CER Anniversary - Could the Critics be Wrong?

You Benefit from CER! It's at a personal level that CER has made the biggest difference to New Zealanders said TLN, Executive Director, Suse Reynolds.

"Big numbers and impressive statistics show how important opening the borders between Australia and New Zealand has been to our economy. But on a day to day basis, it's individuals who've gained," said Reynolds.

The New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers meet this weekend as part of a series of events this year to commemorate twenty years of Closer Economic Relations.

"Twenty years ago travelling or trading with Australia, our nearest neighbour, wasn't too much different from travelling or trading with Thailand, Chile or Japan - visas were required, airfares were expensive, bureaucratic red tape prevented our products from getting into Australia and complicated processes stopped New Zealanders from working there.

"Now we barely think twice about jumping on a plane to watch a rugby test in Sydney or to shop in Melbourne. Hundreds of New Zealand companies have cut their exporting teeth in Australia and hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders have gained invaluable work experience across the Tasman."

Critics have pointed to our trade deficit with Australia to argue that the gain has been one way. Trade deficits between countries are irrelevant, said Reynolds.

"What matters is that we produce enough exports to pay for what we import - in total. New Zealanders have bought what they want from Australians and Australians have bought what they want from New Zealanders.

"Duty free imports from Australia have made a huge difference to New Zealand businesses and their employees by lowering costs and making their products so much more competitive - domestically and off shore," Reynolds concluded.

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