To go or woe with the WTO?

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Advance Australasia Fair

by | Feb 16, 2017 | Trade Working Blog

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There’s nothing like having the relatives over. Prime Minister Bill English will host the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the annual Australia New Zealand Leader’s Meeting in Queenstown on 17th February.
 

They will be accompanied by Economic Ministers and will be joined by a handful of business leaders including the co-chairs of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Adrian Littlewood and Ann Sherry AO. On the agenda will be progress in the Single Economic Market as well as moves to build a new coalition to advance the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Recent phone calls the two leaders have received will doubtless also come up.

Back in October the Australia NZ Leadership Forum convened in Sydney and discussed ways to innovate and re-energise the relationship. Five sector groups in the areas of agribusiness, health technology, infrastructure, innovation and tourism presented recommendations to the two governments. All these sectors are looking at ways of working together more deliberately to enhance trans-Tasman competitiveness and build new bridgeheads in third markets.

In Queenstown a key focus for the ANZLF co-chairs will be to discuss with the Prime Ministers implementation of these recommendations. For example, the ANZLF is keen to see increased trans-Tasman collaboration on science and innovation with a view to sharing science infrastructure and more collaboration where appropriate across research projects. There is also scope for Australia and New Zealand to work together to create a more systematic approach to identifying, tracking and monitoring non-tariff barriers that impact on our agricultural exports. There are significant opportunities for the two countries to work together to leverage our growing domestic markets for health technology and in relation to health technology markets offshore. The Forum has also recommended improved trans-Tasman border and travel coordination through Smart Security initiatives and more border agency data sharing and longer term innovation on identity management at the border. The Forum also encourages both governments to promote internationally the completed Australia and New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline (www.infrastructurepipeline.org) and implement measures to promote competition in and between the two infrastructure markets.

New Zealand has no better friend and no closer ally than Australia. We benefit from each other’s success. When close relatives get together there’s always a lot to discuss.

This post was prepared by Fiona Cooper Clarke, Associate Director of the NZ International Business Forum and Adviser to the Australia NZ Leadership Forum.

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