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The Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum has called for the removal of barriers to the movement of people and goods, and renewed focus on new areas of opportunity

In a milestone year marking the 40th anniversary of the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER), the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum has callsed for the removal of barriers to the movement of people and goods, and renewed focus on new areas of opportunity including climate change, the digital economy and indigenous collaboration among others.

“As both nations reflect on the achievements of the past four decades, it is recognised that progress can and should be made in several key areas,” says ANZLF Co-chair for Aotearoa New Zealand Greg Lowe.

“Now is the time to make the most of Australia and New Zealand’s special friendship to remove barriers so we can reach the true potential of our people and our products.

“Businesses on both sides of the Tasman are clear that there are huge benefits to modernising CER, especially as both nations focus on collaboration with Indigenous peoples, digitising the economy and achieving net zero carbon emissions,” he says.

The ANZLF calls on both governments to:

  • Deliver an open and simplified trans-Tasman border, ensuring the smooth flow of goods and people between Australia and New Zealand.
  • Include climate change considerations within the CER framework, aligning the shared objectives of achieving net-zero emissions.
  • Integrate the digital economy into CER to future-proof a more seamless trans-Tasman regulatory environment, enabling the bilateral trade and economic relationship to navigate the complexities of twenty-first-century business models.

The infrastructure sector also presents a prime opportunity for joint action, addressing common challenges such as skilled labour shortages, inflationary pressures, and the imperative to decarbonise infrastructure.

The ANZLF has long advocated for collaboration to leverage the power of digital technology, research, and innovation to drive economic growth and prosperity.

The further evolution of the bilateral Science, Research, and Innovation Cooperation Agreement is anticipated as part of the CER 40-year anniversary programme, supporting the trans-Tasman innovation ecosystem.

Recognizing the strong interest of business leaders in collaboration between Australia and New Zealand to take on the world together, the ANZLF says it looks forward to exploring effective partnerships with the Pacific region to address local and regional challenges.

Glenn Baker

Professional writer/editor with 35-plus years experience - including radio copywriting, various television writing/production roles, and writing for business magazines. I have also co-owned a wholesale food distribution business.

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