The committee proposed the inquiry on March 7, 2006 to The Australian. Letters submitted to relevant ministers, Commonwealth agencies and a wide range of organizations interested in Australia`s economic and trade relations with New Zealand were sent. A press release was widely circulated. Since 1983, there have been many agreements and MoUs (MoUs) between Australia and New Zealand. The aim was to reduce regulatory barriers to cross-Tasman trade and to harmonize domestic policy. The main developments were: the 1983 Australia-New Zealand Trade Agreement (ERC) is by far the oldest of Australia`s four free trade agreements with other countries – Australia has free trade agreements with Singapore (July 2003); Thailand (January 2005); United States (January 2005). Since 1983, trade between New Zealand and Australia has continued to grow. Trade in Tasman trans goods was $14.5 billion. Our merchandise exports to Australia were $8.3 billion, or 17.1% of our total exports. The Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) is a business-led initiative to develop bilateral relations between Australia and New Zealand and provide a direct business contribution vehicle in the Trans-Tasman Economic Integration Program. ANTLF brings together ministers and heads of state and government from business, government and science to create an independent public platform for debate on Australia-New Zealand relations. In February 2015, anZLF celebrated its 10th anniversary and the eleventh ANZLF was held in Sydney in October 2016.
The ERC was born out of a previous free trade agreement that came into force in 1966 and the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement of 1973, which allowed citizens of Australia and New Zealand to travel to the other country, live and work there.2 Which allowed New Zealand and Australian service providers to travel, live and work in the other country2 The 1988 TRADE in Services Protocol (external link) allowed New Zealand and Australian service providers to travel, live and work in the other country`s market. The protocol contains certain exclusions (areas where unlimited access is not granted) that have been regularly reviewed and have been significantly reduced over time. The next step for the Australian and New Zealand authorities is to create a customs union through a common external tariff and a common competition policy. New Zealand and Australia already have a common competition policy, but it is unlikely that there will be a common external tariff. [Citation required] Between 1983 and 2003, Australia and New Zealand recorded an average annual growth of 9%. Trans-Tasman tourism is also an important driver of trade. New Zealand is Australia`s largest source of short-term visitors – 2004/2005 undertook 1.24 million short-term visits to Australia. Of that $0.95 million, holidaymakers spent about $1.2 billion.10 This is New Zealand`s oldest trade agreement still in force. On December 14, 1982, the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand signed an agreement on RECs that allowed the agreement to enter into force on January 1, 1983.