AN AUSTRALIAN – New Zealand travel “bubble”, allowing the two-way movement of goods and people, would serve as a valuable model for wider border re-openings, the Australian Chamber of Commerce says.
The Chamber has welcomed discussions between Australian PM Scott Morrison and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern on the concept of a travel “bubble”.
ACCI chief executive James Pearson said that during the coming weeks both Australia and New Zealand would be in similar positions in their control of COVID-19, providing a great opportunity to move between the two countries and rebuild economies.
“Australian business owners have done their best to hang on during this crisis, and instating this trans-Tasman travel bubble would go a long way to bolstering their confidence and providing new opportunities for growth.
“We have been in touch with both the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and BusinessNZ and look forward to working closely with our trans-Tasman counterparts to expedite business support.”
ACCI director of Trade and International Affairs, Bryan Clark said governments must ensure the “bubble” extended not only to tourists, but also goods, services and the workforce.
“Many Australian small businesses cut their teeth trading with New Zealand before venturing to more complex markets in Asia,” Mr Clark said.
“These fledgling export-import businesses need this route reopened as soon as possible.
“If we can get people moving, to boost services industries, the same planes can also assist in providing the transport for goods.”
ACCI has urged governments in Australia and New Zealand to continue to progress the bubble concept and provide a timeframe for lifting travel restrictions.
As well as opening up travel between Australia and New Zealand, ACCI has backed “a speedy opening” of closed state borders and removal of domestic movement restrictions.