Tim Harcourt, the JW Neville Fellow in Economics at the Australian School of Business, says “the historical significance of our shared experience particularly in World War I at Gallipoli is ever lasting. Aussies and Kiwis both commemorate ANZAC Day together and it reminds us that we have a shared history. We’ve been together in the trenches in wartime, we have shared backgrounds, and we’re down here together geographically.”
New Zealand is Australia’s 6th largest export destination and the two-way trade relationship is worth A$15 billion in merchandise trade, just under A$6 billion in services and two-way investment is worth almost A$111 billion.
Tim Harcourt says “the Australia-New Zealand relationship is kept lively by people ties through frequent Trans-Tasman immigration and a fierce but somehow at the same time, friendly sporting rivalry. Also we should remember New Zealand and Australia are very proud of many firsts in the world – many of which of course, began in New Zealand. Over a century ago, New Zealand and Australia were the first countries to establish votes for women, and workplace Conciliation and Arbitration, minimum wage laws, trade union acts and even lesser known but useful innovations like eftpos were also started in New Zealand.”
Even in the world of global trade, the Closer Economic Relations (CER) agreement between Australia and New Zealand, signed in 1983, was the first bilateral trade agreement of its kind in the world.
He has looked at the CER agreement. “The CER has really made a difference as the Australian - New Zealand relationship is as strong commercially as it is from a social historical point of view. As a trade agreement goes, its world’s best practice and a model for other trade pacts regionally and globally. From an Aussie point of view, New Zealand is a very significant market, particularly in terms of exporting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
New evidence from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that there are over 17,800 Australian businesses exporting goods across the Tasman, with many Aussie businesses getting their start there as a springboard into Singapore, Indonesia, the Pacific and beyond.
“Although in New Zealand political circles there is a worry that the country risks becoming ‘Australia’s Mexico’ thanks to manufacturers moving to NZ to cut production cost, knowing when to compete and collaborate will keep the relationship strong in global markets. Suggestions of having a common currency are perhaps a bridge too far, but we should combine forces to make some headway in Asia and Latin America. And with CER we can be ANZAC collaborators in Asian and Latin America even if we are competitors at home as fierce economically as the All Blacks and Wallabies are on the pitch.”
For further details contact Tim Harcount on 0408 485 479 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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