TRADE ministers from both sides of the ditch met in Auckland to strengthen trans-Tasman economic ties under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER).
Trade minister Steven Ciobo and his Kiwi counterpart David Parker met in Auckland last week and noted the already strong trade and commercial links between Australia and New Zealand, underscoring the effectiveness of the CER in demonstrating the advantages of liberalised trade.
A statement from Mr Ciobo about the meeting said they rejected protectionism and agreed on the importance for both nations to continue collaborating to improve the work of the World Trade Organization, as well as to strengthen the rules-based trade architecture in the region, to benefit both economies.
The two ministers also discussed opportunities for producers in both countries in the UK and Europe following Brexit, as well as progress in bringing the TPP-11 into force.
Mr Ciobo and Mr Parker also announced the terms of reference for joint work on a study that is to identify areas where there is the greatest potential benefits to both economies to provide new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Work on the “Growing the Digital Economy and Maximising Opportunities for SMEs” report will be carried out jointly by the Australian and New Zealand productivity commissions, and is due to start in September. Completion expected early next year.