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Australia's Economic Relationship with New Zealand under the Umbrella of ANZCERTA

  • Australia's bilateral economic relationship with New Zealand is the most diverse and comprehensive we have with any country
    • annual talks between Prime Ministers, Treasurer/Finance Ministers and Trade Ministers and 6 monthly Foreign Ministers meeting, reflect the high level of political and official engagement supporting the relationship
    • Close people-to-people links
  • The cornerstone of the trade and economic relationship is the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA)
    • two-way trans-Tasman trade has increased seven-fold since ANZCERTA was signed in 1983
  • There is already a high level of integration of the two economies and ANZCERTA is supported by an extensive web of bilateral arrangements
    • known as the CER agenda
  • More than 80 government-to-government bilateral treaties, protocols and other arrangements of less than treaty status underpin the CER relationship - covering trade and the movement of people, aviation, business law coordination, mutual recognition of goods and professions, taxation, health care, social security, food standards and government procurement, among other things.
  • In 2008 two-way goods and services trade totalled around $23 billion (two way trade in services was $5.6 billion in 2008). Australian merchandise exports - $9.3 billion; New Zealand merchandise imports - $7.6 billion.
  • New Zealand is Australia's sixth largest market taking around 5 per cent of our exports;
    • largest market for elaborately transformed manufactures.
  • In 2008, key Australian merchandise exports to New Zealand included refined petroleum ($396 million); passenger motor vehicles ($342 million); crude petroleum ($402 million); medicaments including veterinary ($409 million); computers ($406 million) and printed matter ($223 million)
    • imports from New Zealand included crude petroleum ($1,727 million); paper ($265 million); non-monetary gold ($429 million); alcoholic beverages ($295 million) and cheese and curd ($240 million).
  • New Zealand is our seventh largest trading partner; Australia is New Zealand's top trading partner, taking about one fifth of exports.
  • The stock of two-way investment totaled $93 billion at the end of 2008;
    • New Zealand is the third largest market for Australian investment abroad ($66 billion), with Australia the largest investor in New Zealand.
  • Over the 25 years of CER, the composition of trade between Australia and New Zealand has changed dramatically, reflecting changes in technology, competitiveness, domestic industry structure, trade liberalisation and consumer demand;
    • NZ is the principal export market for Australia's manufactured products; equivalent to around 13 per cent of Australia's total exports of manufactured products;


  • ANZCERTA has been recognised in the World Trade Organization as among the world's most comprehensive, effective and mutually compatible free trade agreements, encompassing a wide range of trade issues - covering substantially all trans-Tasman trade in goods, including agricultural products, and services;
    • since 1 July 1990, all goods meeting the ANZCERTA rules of origin have been free of duty and quantitative import restrictions (5 years early).
  • The Trade in Services Protocol, signed in 1988, brought services into ANZCERTA from January 1989;
    • (small number of exclusions: Aust – air services, broadcasting and television, third party insurance, postal services and coastal shipping: NZ airway services and coastal shipping).
  • The objectives of ANZCERTA are to:
    • strengthen the broader relationship between Australia and New Zealand;
    • develop closer economic relations between the Member States through a mutually beneficial expansion of free trade between New Zealand and Australia;
    • eliminate barriers to trade between Australia and New Zealand in a gradual and progressive manner under an agreed timetable and with a minimum of disruption
    • develop trade between New Zealand and Australia under conditions of fair competition.
  • ANZCERTA is a living document and provides a template for other free trade agreements
  • With most of the trade goals met, the CER work program under the auspices of ANZCERTA focuses on "third generation" trade facilitation issues aimed at fostering closer economic integration through regulatory harmonisation and the creation of a more favorable climate for trans-Tasman business collaboration.
  • Steady and valuable progress has been made on the Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda, including;
    • the establishment of a trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision,
    • an MOU on Business Law Coordination,
    • streamlining trans-Tasman taxation and securities offerings,
    • negotiations on an Investment Protocol to ANZCERTA to further liberalise trans-Tasman investment flows.
  • In 2009, the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers committed to a Single Economic Market Outcomes Framework setting out principles to accelerate regulatory harmonisation and alignment in order to stimulate business and create jobs.
Last Updated: 7 March 2013
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