14 April, 2010
Minister reports good progress on single economic market
Commerce Minister Simon Power today said good progress was being made on advancing the single economic market between Australia and New Zealand.
He told the Trans-Tasman Business Circle in Auckland that an inter-governmental group, formed to advance the outcomes identified by Prime Ministers John Key and Kevin Rudd in their Joint Statement of Intent last August, was due to report on its progress soon.
"This group will be reporting formally to me and my Australian counterpart, but I can report good progress in a number of areas."
The Trans-Tasman Outcomes Implementation Group is co-chaired by a senior official in the Australia Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development.
Mr Key delegated responsibility to Mr Power to work with his Australian counterparts to advance the 27 regulatory outcomes identified in the Joint Statement.
"The statement has given new intensity and a renewed focus to delivering the benefits and outcomes from the single economic market", Mr Power said.
Key areas where substantive progress can be reported include:
- Work towards a single cross-border insolvency proceeding.
- Progress on the alignment of accounting standards for profit entities.
- The establishment of an accounting and auditing standards setting infrastructure that will mirror those in Australia.
- The potential for mutual recognition of auditors and financial advisers.
- A process for achieving more ambitious intellectual property outcomes, including a single application process for patents and trade marks, and a single regulatory framework for patent attorneys.
- The development of equivalent approaches to approval and verification of weighing and measuring equipment on both sides of the Tasman and with respect to other aspects of consumer law.
"I'm also pleased to report that agreement has been reached on cross-appointments of commissioners between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the New Zealand Commerce Commission.
"This is something that my Australian ministerial colleagues and I have strongly supported.
"These cross appointments will underpin co-operation on trans-Tasman competition issues.
"I believe the Joint Statement has provided a strong new political push to advancing the vision of a single economic market, and I look forward to continuing to work with Australian counterparts to progress this important agenda."