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Strengthening trans-Tasman relations ready for next stage

AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND LEADERSHIP FORUM

Media release
18 September 2012

Strengthening trans-Tasman relations ready for next stage

The Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) welcomes the preliminary findings and recommendations of the joint study by the Australian and New Zealand Productivity Commissions: Strengthening Trans-Tasman Economic Relations.

The ANZLF agrees with the Commissions’ view that the bilateral relationship needs to be seen in the broader Asia-Pacific context and that it needs to remain outward looking. The future of both countries’ engagement with Asia will be one of the key themes of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum to be held in 2013.

New Zealand Co-Chair Jonathan Ling says “We encourage all businesses on both sides of the Tasman to engage with the Commissions and contribute their views by making their own submissions. That way we can ensure that the final report reflects a high level of ambition for the future of the relationship which does justice to the CER vision, the thirtieth anniversary of which we will celebrate next year.”

The ANZLF is pleased to see the focus on liberalising capital flows between Australia and New Zealand, and the draft recommendations for further regulatory reform and removal of impediments to trans-Tasman investment.

Of particular note is the recommendation that more work be done to assess the net benefits of mutual recognition of franking and imputation credits, as supported in the research report the ANZLF submitted to the Commission in late August.

Australian ANZLF co-chair Rod McGeoch says “Our research shows net GDP and welfare gains from mutual recognition for both Australia and New Zealand after taking into account revenue losses. We intend to continue to make the strongest representations on the matter. Mutual recognition meets the stated goal for single economic market initiatives to consider the net trans-Tasman benefit that may arise.”

The ANZLF’s research also shows that mutual recognition generates more trans-Tasman investment, but not at the cost of any significant diversion from third country markets. Mutual recognition sees an increase in savings and investment in both countries, an important outcome given the policy support in both countries for stronger savings and investment by households.

New Zealand ANZLF co-chair Jonathan Ling, says “ANZLF and the business community now stand ready to engage with the Commissions in working through their recommendations and quantifying their benefits for both economies. We look forward to this discussion and the release of the final report towards the end of the year”.

A copy of the discussion draft, including details on how you can make a submission, can be downloaded here.

The ANZLF research on the costs and benefits of mutual recognition of franking and imputation credits can be found here.

ENDS

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