The 7th Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum which opens in Auckland on Friday 8 April will be a further opportunity for business to help shape the economic agenda between the two countries, says BusinessNZ.
“Australia is our single most important economic partner and this week’s Leadership Forum comes at a time when both countries need to accelerate the progress towards the goal of a single economic market if the trans-Tasman economy is to recover and prosper,” said BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly.
The Leadership Forum will bring together leaders from government, business and the community to exchange views and ideas on significant political and economic issues in the relationship. The Forum will be the last to be co-chaired on the New Zealand side by John Allen, former Chief Executive of New Zealand Post.
The well-known company director and leader of Sydney’s Olympic bid, Rod McGeoch AM, is Co-Chair on the Australian side.
“The theme of this year’s Forum -‘ANZLF- a new generation’ – reflects both the coming of age of this event, now an established feature of the relationship, and the nature of the work in which we are now engaged to deepen trans-Tasman integration,” said John Allen, now Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“The discussion at this week’s event will focus on the relationship between the two countries as well as how we can work together to take on the rest of the world. Topics to be covered include the regional context for the relationship, responses to natural disasters, changing popular perceptions of each other, maximising human capital, progress in the single market, leveraging opportunities from major events, creating opportunities from climate change and fostering trans-Tasman innovation and creativity”, said Mr Allen.
“At the conclusion of the Forum I will hand over the role as Co-Chair to Jonathan Ling, Chief Executive of Fletcher Building. I am grateful to Jonathan and delighted that such an eminent business leader in New Zealand has agreed to take on this role”.
As part of new institutional arrangements that have been put in place around the Forum, BusinessNZ will work in support of Jonathan Ling as he takes forward the Forum’s agenda.
“Our job will be to put in place a work programme between Forums which can build on Forum outcomes and help develop the momentum necessary to accelerate the drive towards the single market. Business leaders on both sides of the Tasman will be directly involved in this process and we will work closely and collaboratively with both governments,” Mr OÕReilly said.
The Leadership Forum will be addressed by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, and attended by senior Ministers from both countries as well around 150 delegates from both countries. The concluding lunch will be addressed by Jamie Fenton and Jessica Watson, respectively young New Zealander and Australian of the Year, underscoring the Forum’s forward-looking new generation theme. The Forum closes on Saturday 9 April.