Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Trans-Tasman leadership forum begins in Sydney

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern will lead New Zealand’s Ministerial delegation to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) in Sydney today, following a trade mission to Melbourne and Sydney which included over 30 New Zealand businesses.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘The Great Acceleration: Emerging Stronger Together’.

“Building on our trans-Tasman trade and economic links is fundamental to ensuring New Zealanders’ economic security both now, and into the future,” Prime Minister Ardern said.

“By bringing over 250 business leaders and elected officials from across the Tasman together, the ANZLF presents an excellent opportunity for us to hear from businesses on how we can further co-operate, support and assist business to thrive as part of our recovery.

“Engagement between government and business is essential to ensure our settings promote sustainable and equitable economic growth, critical to achieving economic security for New Zealanders, and those in our wider region. 

“As a Cabinet, engagement with the business sector, including those across the Tasman, is important to us and should be taken seriously, and I’m pleased to be here with a wide range of New Zealand Ministers who have prioritised their participation, and are eager to establish new relationships, while building on current ones,” Ms Ardern said.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied to the ANZLF by Ministers Grant Robertson, Damien O’Connor, Stuart Nash, Willie Jackson, Megan Wood, Ayesha Verrall and James Shaw, who will meet with their Australian counterparts and participate in discussions with business leaders on a range of topics. 

These include indigenous business; reconnecting to the world through trade; the future of health; infrastructure challenges and opportunities; reconnecting through travel and tourism; trans-Tasman innovation opportunities; labour shortages and the future of work; economic growth challenges post-COVID-19; and climate change collaboration.

“Australia is our second largest trading partner, with two-way trade accounting for over $22 billion in the year to December 2021, and is the first export market many New Zealand companies look to,” Ms Ardern said. 

“I look forward to hearing the outcomes of these discussions, particularly as Prime Minister Albanese and I will be talking tomorrow about deepening our economic ties as we look towards the 40th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations (CER) in 2023.”

Usually held around every 18 months, the Forum last took place in 2019 in Auckland before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Separate to the ANZLF, Prime Minister Ardern and Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese will hold their first formal Australia New Zealand Leaders Meeting in Sydney tomorrow.

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