Costello bilateral to progress single economic market
Progress towards streamlining the trans-Tasman business environment will be top of the agenda when Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Australian Treasurer Peter Costello hold annual talks in Wellington on Monday 29 January.
"I look forward to these meetings as they are a valuable opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and importantly to accelerate progress on the Single Economic Market agenda," Dr Cullen said today.
"Australia remains our largest trading partner, a valuable market of well over 20 million people right on our doorstep and the first offshore market for many Kiwi companies.
"Therefore, it is vital we continue the momentum in recent years towards a single economic market. Our aim is to make it as easy for a company to expand its business in Sydney as it is in Auckland.
"At last year's meeting in Melbourne we agreed to legislative changes so our respective banking supervisors could better support each other to improve financial system stability, allowed for the mutual recognition of securities offerings and improved information sharing between competition authorities.
"At Monday's meeting Peter and I will discuss:
- Trans-Tasman tax issues, including implications of the International Tax Review;
- Business law coordination;
- Banking supervision;
- Climate change;
- Trade and other regional economic issues, including Australia's hosting of APEC later this year.
Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne will attend some of the discussions.
Dr Cullen and Mr Costello will hold a media conference at the conclusion of the talks at 3.30pm in the Beehive Theatrette and will later attend a Trans-Tasman Business Circle function.
Contact: Mike Jaspers, press secretary, 04 471 9412 or 021 270 9013
What is the Single Economic Market?
At their January 2004 meeting Dr Cullen and Mr Costello expressed a goal of achieving a single economic market based on common regulatory frameworks. This aimed to ensure the ongoing development of the trans-Tasman economic relationship beyond the CER agreement.
The media statement from last year's bilateral in Melbourne is available at:
Why does the Single Economic Market matter?
- It provides both countries with a combined market of 25 million people.
- New Zealand provides Australian companies with another domestic market the size of Queensland.
- For New Zealand business, CER increases the domestic market six fold.
- New Zealand exported over $7 billion of goods to Australia in the year to November 2006, up 6% on the previous year.
- Australia exported over $8 billion of goods to New Zealand in the year to November 2006, up 6% on the previous year.
- Australia is New Zealand's number one export market and number one source of imports.
- New Zealand is Australia's fifth largest export market and eighth largest source of imports and the largest market for elaborately transformed manufactures.
- AusTrade recently reported that 17,343 exporters sent products to New Zealand in 2005-06, more than double any other destination.
- Australia is the largest foreign investor in New Zealand, supplying around 50% of our foreign investment.
- New Zealand is Australia's sixth largest source of foreign investment, and in 2006 became the largest destination for New Zealand foreign investment.
- There is freedom of movement of people across the Tasman.
- New Zealand is Australia's number one source of short-term visitors with over one million visiting every year, mostly tourists.
- Australians are the most frequent visitors here with 900,000 visiting in the year to November 2006. They spend around $1.4 billion a year here.