Monday, June 24, 2024

Ministers sign sustainable trade declaration

New Zealand and Australia have signed a Sustainable and Inclusive Trade Declaration as the two nations mark 40 years of Closer Economic Relations (CER).

“When CER was signed in 1983, it was hailed as a world-leading agreement, and 40 years on, that has not changed. The enduring nature of CER’s success lies in its ability to move with the times and respond to a changing trade environment,” said Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“Today, alongside my counterpart Senator Hon Don Farrell, I have concluded and signed a Declaration that builds on the success of Closer Economic Relations (CER) and amplifies our commitment to a rules-based international trading system, the advancement of a net-zero transition, and the delivery of sustainable development for our communities.

“Australia is our most important trading partner, representing 15 per cent of our total exports and $29 billion in two-way trade last year.”

Mr O’Connor said the joint declaration sets out how both countries are working to build modern, resilient, and inclusive economies on either side of the Tasman.

“This includes ensuring that the rights and economic interests of Indigenous Peoples are reinforced and not undermined by international trade and investment policy and activities.”

“In addition, the Declaration demonstrates our commitment to work together on issues such as modern slavery, biodiversity loss, plastics pollution, and climate change.

“As close partners with shared values, both Australia and New Zealand believe in using trade as a force for good in our region and upholding an international rules-based trading system which sees everyone get a fair go,” he said.

The Declaration includes a commitment to continue to monitor progress on sustainable and inclusive trade objectives, and to engage regularly on trans-Tasman priorities in this space.

The joint Declaration was signed in Adelaide today as part of the annual CER Ministerial Meeting.

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