The 8th Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum which opens in Sydney tomorrow will focus on using CER and the single market as a springboard for developing new business in third markets, says Forum co-chair Jonathan Ling.
“This year’s Forum meets as Australia considers in a new White Paper how best to advance its interests in the Asian century and as the two countries’ Productivity Commissions focus on what more can be done to stimulate greater integration. The theme of this year’s Forum – ““Australia and New Zealand – together in the Indo-Pacific century”” provides the context for a broad vision for the relationship and on how to improve competitiveness and position the two countries for success in global markets.”
The Leadership Forum will again bring together leaders from government, business and the community to exchange views and ideas on significant political and economic issues. The Forum is co-chaired on the New Zealand side by Jonathan Ling, Chief Executive of Fletcher Building. The well-known company director and leader of Sydney’s Olympic bid, Rod McGeoch AM, is co-chair on the Australian side.
As part of new institutional arrangements for the Forum, BusinessNZ has been working in support of Jonathan Ling in progressing the Forum’s agenda.
“Our job has been to put in place a work programme which can build on Forum outcomes and generate a further leap forward in the relationship”, said BusinessNZ CEO Phil O’Reilly.
“Since the last Forum a small group has focused on a number of key issues including how to free up trans-Tasman investment, progress the vision of a common border and promote development in the Pacific”.
Mr O’Reilly said the New Zealand business community was ambitious for the future of the relationship.
“The relationship with Australia is critical to New Zealand’s economic success. One year out from the celebration of the 30th anniversary of CER we need to think big. Continuing in an incremental fashion to develop the single market will not be enough. We need to articulate a new agenda for growth and forge deeper co-operation with Australian business.”
The Leadership Forum will be addressed by the Deputy Prime Minister Hon Bill English and attended by senior Ministers and around 100 delegates from both countries. The Forum closes on Friday 13 April.