Joint project to boost trans-Tasman exports

The Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Australia have agreed to investigate ways to boost the flow of business and exports, from Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), across the Tasman.

“About 75 percent of New Zealand SMEs export to Australia and more Australian firms export to New Zealand than any other country,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Both Prime Minister Turnbull and I see huge potential for both our countries in making it easier, and speedier, for SME’s to do business across the border.

 “I see this as the next step in CER and an extension of the potential that exists in the agenda for a Trans-Tasman Single Economic Market (SEM).

 “Today Prime Minister Turnbull and I agreed to commission a joint programme of work to investigate the factors that help to contribute to the success of SMEs across the Tasman, and to work through the factors that are constraining their success.

 “We have also agreed to jointly commission a review of our policy and regulatory frameworks to ensure that they are creating an environment in which trans-Tasman digital trade is as open and facilitative as they are for conventional trade.

 “The first leap into exporting for the majority of SME’s in both Australia and New Zealand is across the Tasman and it’s often a spring board from there to the global market.

 “While there has been steady progress on the SEM since it was established in 2009, we want to see progress sped up in relation to smaller businesses especially in areas like the streamlining of trans-Tasman travel.

 “Business has been telling us for a while about the benefits of e-invoicing, and removing departure cards, and other barriers to business, such as regulatory costs and some duplicated processes.

 “Given the crucial role smaller businesses play in driving the growth our country relies on, it makes sense to make it easier for those firms to do business with our closest neighbour,” Jacinda Ardern said.