40 years of Closer Economic Relations with Australia

Trade and Export Growth

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations (CER), our gold standard free trade agreement between New Zealand and Australia.

“CER was a world-leading agreement in 1983, is still world-renowned today and is emblematic of both our countries’ commitment to free trade. The WTO has called it the world’s most comprehensive, effective and mutually compatible free trade agreement,” Damien O’Connor said.

“CER represents 15 per cent of our exports and our Government has overseen a 12 per cent increase in two-way trade with Australia from $26 billion in 2017 to $29 billion in 2022.

“This has delivered jobs for Kiwis and prosperity for all. We know that one in four jobs in New Zealand depend on exports.

“The agreement often means that Australia is the first place that Kiwi businesses look to when they want to start exporting, giving them a great platform to expand from.

“Australia is also the most popular export market by a large margin in terms of the number of New Zealand firms. There are over 7,200 firms exporting goods across the Tasman and today our largest exports there are tourism, dairy, logistics and beverages.

“Signed on 28 March 1983, CER underpins our uniquely close relationship with Australia and the framework that allows our people to live, work, and trade across the Tasman.

“As we have grown as nations together, so too has CER and we continue to push ahead with further integrations and improvement – this year focusing particularly on work around sustainable and inclusive trade. A focus that reflects the ongoing work on the Government’s Trade for All agenda.

“I look forward to participating in our CER Ministerial Meeting later this year. Together with our Australian counterparts, including Minister for Trade and Tourism Senator Don Farrell, we will look at how we can further deepen our economic relationship and reap greater rewards for New Zealand and Australia both,” Damien O’Connor said.