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Joint Statement by Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Auckland, 22 February 2019

1. Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP met in Auckland on 22 February 2019 for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting. Prime Minister Ardern and Mr Clarke Gayford warmly welcomed Prime Minister Morrison and Mrs Jenny Morrison to New Zealand.

2. The trans-Tasman relationship is unique and precious. It is underpinned by two centuries of shared history, values, open borders, free trade, and joint endeavour. It is a relationship of family, of whānau.

Trans-Tasman Cooperation

3. The Prime Ministers welcomed the role that Closer Economic Relations (CER) and the Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda play in growing both economies, driving prosperity and creating jobs. The trans-Tasman trade and economic relationship sets the benchmark for economic integration. The Leaders committed to making sure the SEM agenda continues to meet the day-to-day needs of trans-Tasman business and remains ambitious and responsive to new opportunities and challenges such as the future of work, the growth of the digital economy, data and emerging technologies.

4. The Prime Ministers welcomed the Australia and New Zealand Productivity Commissions’ joint report on “Growing the trans-Tasman digital economy and maximising opportunities for SMEs”. They directed officials to consider the Report’s findings and proposed actions, including on improved digital delivery of government services; digital financial services and open banking; possible areas for the expansion of trans-Tasman data sharing; and the alignment, standardisation and streamlining of the collection and use of data, including from importers and exporters.

5. The Leaders welcomed the Report’s focus on addressing domestic barriers to digital trade. They committed to strengthening trans-Tasman cooperation on e-procurement (including electronic invoicing), payment practices, digital identity for citizens and businesses, and company director identification. Leaders took particular note of the Report’s finding that the mutual recognition of verified digital identities is a foundation for growing the digital economy, and directed officials to seek opportunities to align our processes to drive growth in the digital economy by increasing citizen and business confidence in the digital marketplace. They agreed to promote global digital trade rules.

6. The Prime Ministers welcomed the significant progress on e-invoicing since 2018. They announced the creation of the Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) to help drive an estimated A$30 billion in savings over 10 years in Australia and New Zealand. They also announced the two countries’ intention to jointly adopt the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) interoperability framework for trans-Tasman e-invoicing.

7. The Prime Ministers directed officials to maximise the opportunities and manage the risks of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, block chain and quantum computing.

8. The Prime Ministers met the co-Chairs of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) and other business leaders to consider further improvements to the trans-Tasman small business operating environment, including a trans-Tasman mediation mechanism for SMEs. They welcomed the ANZLF’s championing of the economic partnership and direct business input into the SEM agenda. Business leaders welcomed the Prime Ministers’ announcements on data settings, digital identities and the future of work, and committed to collaborate with government on streamlining payment practices to improve SME cash flow and viability, and on implementing e-invoicing.

9. The Prime Ministers recognised further efforts are needed to ensure policies and regulations are inclusive, and in this context welcomed the ANZLF’s launch of the Indigenous Women’s Business Network and announced Viet Nam and Malaysia as the preferred destinations for a joint indigenous/Māori business mission in 2019. Leaders also announced an inaugural Women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) bilateral dialogue.

10. The Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to a more streamlined and secure trans-Tasman travel experience, noting that both countries have now removed departure cards, and remained focused on more efficient passenger clearance processes through the better use of more timely data, and of digital and x-ray technology, including digital options for arrival cards and passports. Leaders also welcomed joint efforts to improve trans-Tasman movement of goods, through joint trialing of a secure trade lane for low risk cargo, and improving processes for border clearance of online purchases sent by mail.

11. The Prime Ministers recognised that this year trans-Tasman collaboration will expand into marine biosecurity through a unified approach and commitment to consistency in ballast water and biofouling management requirements. New cooperation activities will include building marine biosecurity capacity in the Pacific.

12. The Prime Ministers welcomed the five-yearly review of the Australia New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement and looked forward to practical outcomes that maximise opportunities for Australian and New Zealand suppliers and reduce costs of doing business for both government and industry.

13. The Prime Ministers welcomed the announcement that the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission will work closely with its Australian counterparts to progress the integration of the two countries’ infrastructure markets. Leaders also welcomed the trans-Tasman “Cities Symposium” in Sydney on 25-26 February and looked forward to its outcomes on tackling urban development challenges.

14. The Prime Ministers welcomed the expansion of collaborative activities under the Australia New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement, including the launch of a trans-Tasman cyber security research programme; completion of the groundbreaking Satellite-based Augmentation System (SBAS) trial; and investigations into the feasibility of developing a shared trans-Tasman SBAS service.

15. Prime Minister Ardern welcomed Australia’s 2018 budget initiative to reunite people with their lost retirement savings and Prime Minister Morrison’s support for this initiative to be extended to New Zealanders who have worked in Australia.

16. Leaders welcomed New Zealand’s application to become an international member of the Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers (MCM) as a way to strengthen collaboration on arts, culture and heritage. New Zealand and Australia will collaborate on the repatriation of ancestral remains, and a joint 18 month project on cultural indicators.

17. The Prime Ministers celebrated the depth of the trans-Tasman defence alliance and its roots in ANZAC mateship. Leaders welcomed the forthcoming annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting on 28 February, and consideration of our respective capability requirements, investment plans and opportunities for collaboration. They highlighted the valuable work of the joint Australia-New Zealand Building Partner Capacity mission in Iraq, our respective deployments in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and support for our Pacific partners.

18. The Prime Ministers agreed that the prosperity and security of the Pacific was of fundamental importance to Australia and New Zealand. The Leaders welcomed the strong alignment between New Zealand’s Pacific Reset and Australia’s Pacific Step-Up, and agreed to strengthen their partnerships with Pacific island countries and territories, the Pacific Islands Forum and other regional institutions in support of the Blue Pacific.

19. The Prime Ministers welcomed the Boe Declaration, including its recognition that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific. The Prime Ministers commended the target set by Pacific signatories for the entry into force by 2019 of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) and invited Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the French Territories to support PACER Plus. The Prime Ministers committed to increasing labour mobility opportunities, and looked forward to New Zealand’s hosting of the 2019 Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting.

20. Leaders recognised the trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement as a key pillar of the Australia-New Zealand relationship, and committed to working closely on ongoing implementation of the unique pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders who are long-term residents of Australia. They acknowledged the importance of the sensitive management of visa cancellation decisions, appeals and removals of New Zealand citizens who have been convicted of crimes in Australia, and committed to continue working together.

Regional and Global Trade, Security and Environment

21. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their steadfast support for an open, rules-based global trading system and agreed that Australian and New Zealand citizens benefit from a global trading system that creates jobs, delivers opportunities, and lowers costs for consumers.

22. Leaders reaffirmed the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the pre-eminent global body for the development and oversight of multilateral trade rules, and the settlement of disputes, and committed to working together to ensure the WTO is modernised and strengthened, including to resolve the Appellate Body impasse and conclude meaningful disciplines on fisheries subsidies in 2019.

23. The Prime Ministers welcomed Papua New Guinea’s successful hosting of APEC 2018, the pre-eminent regional forum for promoting regional economic integration, open trade and investment, and sustainable and inclusive growth. They looked forward to New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 as an opportunity to advance shared economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

24. The Prime Ministers agreed that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will provide significant benefits to its members both individually and collectively. The CPTPP is open to other economies that can meet its high standards. Leaders committed to concluding negotiations in 2019 for a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

25. The Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to work together in support of a region that is open, prosperous, secure and inclusive, in which disputes are resolved peacefully in accordance with international law and without the threat or use of force or coercion, and where freedom of navigation and overflight are upheld.

26. Leaders welcomed continued close cooperation and alignment on the full range of global and regional security issues, including cyber security, countering violent extremism and the return of foreign terrorist fighters, and the deterrence and disruption of people smuggling networks. Leaders shared views on foreign interference, and agreed that New Zealand and Australia would continue to share information and work together closely to address this issue.

27. The Prime Ministers welcomed positive developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the upcoming summit meeting between the United States and the DPRK. They shared their concerns over the DPRK’s ongoing violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions and agreed on the importance of enforcing sanctions. Both Leaders remain committed to working with the international community to encourage the DPRK to take concrete steps towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

28. The Prime Ministers expressed concern with the continuing militarisation of the South China Sea and urged all claimants to take meaningful steps to ease tensions and build trust, including through dialogue. They acknowledged work towards a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea and supported conclusion of an effective Code that is consistent with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and that does not prejudice the interests of third parties or the rights of all states under international law.

29. The Prime Ministers recognised that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change marks a global commitment to taking climate action. They welcomed the rules and guidelines adopted in Katowice, which bring the Paris Agreement to life. Australia and New Zealand congratulated Fiji on completing its successful Presidency of COP23 and for introducing the Talanoa Dialogue to the international climate change process.

30. The Prime Ministers expressed their support for the protection of marine biodiversity in the Southern Ocean, including through the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area and the proposed East Antarctica Regional System of Marine Protected Areas. The Prime Ministers expressed their disappointment at the continuation of commercial whaling, and called on relevant governments to cease this practice.


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