BusinessNZ and the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum have welcomed the announcement of joint work by the Productivity Commissions of New Zealand and Australia.
An agreement of the joint cabinet meeting of the New Zealand and Australian Governments in Melbourne will see the two commissions working to develop options for further economic reform and integration.
“This is a practical step forward and makes good sense,” said Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Co-Chair Jonathan Ling.
“Australia is not just our most important trade and investment partner – the health of the trans-Tasman economy is essential for expanding growth and ensuring both Australia and New Zealand continue to ride out the wave of global economic instability”.
The Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum is supported by BusinessNZ.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said obtaining economic alignment where it is in the interests of both countries is already improving the trans-Tasman business environment.
“Achievements under CER and now the Single Economic Market programme have demonstrated the benefits of trans-Tasman harmonisation.
“A number of other significant steps could be taken to facilitate capital raising, ease the approval process for investment and align financial market regulations and supervision. New Zealand business believes mutual recognition of franking and imputation credits would increase investment flows to the benefit of both countries”.
Mr Ling said making further progress on the single market would be a focus of discussion at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum meeting in Sydney on 12-13 April.
“The Forum has always taken a long term view of the relationship. Our Sydney meeting will be an opportunity to discuss how to contribute to the Productivity Commissions’ study and the ongoing single market agenda.”
Mr Ling highlighted measures to facilitate trans-Tasman travel.
“We congratulate the two Governments on the progress made with SmartGate. Further extension of SmartGate technology particularly on departure from Australian airports and reductions in Australian international departure taxes would assist the ongoing effort to make flying between Australia and New Zealand a more domestic-like experience.”