Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Meeting

Media release

27 November 2013

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and his New Zealand counterpart, Tim Groser, will hold this year's Closer Economic Relations (CER) Ministerial Meeting in Sydney today.

They will be joined by the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, the New Zealand Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce, and the New Zealand Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss.

The annual CER Ministerial Meeting provides Ministers with the opportunity to review the Australia-New Zealand trade relationship and consider ways to extend and deepen it.

"This year marks the 30th Anniversary of CER which is one of the world's most comprehensive, effective and multilaterally compatible free trade agreements," Mr Robb said.

"Our experience with CER and the 2010 ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA have earned Australia and New Zealand a seat at the table on institution-building and economic integration in Asia."

The Ministers will discuss economic integration, including progress on the Single Economic Market agenda which aims to create a seamless trans-Tasman regulatory environment for business, investors and consumers.

The Ministers will also discuss and coordinate approaches to key multilateral and regional trade negotiations. These include the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali in December and the two main Asia-Pacific free trade negotiations in which both Australia and New Zealand are active participants, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The CER Ministerial Meeting will also review progress on a joint government response to the Australian and New Zealand Productivity Commissions' 2012 recommendations for shaping future trans-Tasman economic links.

For the first time, the CER Ministerial Meeting will this year coincide with the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF), which is also being held in Sydney.

The ANZLF is a private-sector-led initiative which brings together government ministers and business leaders from both countries to contribute ideas on the development of the bilateral relationship.

In addition to Mr Robb, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Joe Hockey will participate in the day-long Forum.

Mr Robb will take part in an ANZLF panel discussion with New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser on leveraging Australia and New Zealand's capability in Asia.

The Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement was Australia's first bilateral free trade agreement. Two-way trade in goods between Australia and New Zealand expanded at an average annual rate of around 8 per cent since CER entered into force in 1983. New Zealand is Australia's seventh largest trading partner and eighth largest source of foreign investment.

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555