The 10th anniversary meeting of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum takes place in Auckland tomorrow.
The Leadership Forum is an annual meeting of business, political and community leaders from Australia and New Zealand sharing a goal of closer trans-Tasman relations.
Past work of the Forum has included helping accelerate the Single Economic Market (SEM), border control reforms, supporting joint trade agreements with other nations, and work on expanding investment in both countries.
This year’s meeting will continue the focus on trade, tourism and progress towards SEM along with productivity, technology, infrastructure and investment issues.
New Zealand Co-Chair Adrian Littlewood (Chief Executive Auckland Airport) said the success of CER and a deepening SEM means Australia and New Zealand have a strong platform from which to grow trade with each other and with the rest of the world.
“Our goal at this Forum is to develop some new ideas for leadership between the two countries and together as we face the world,” said Mr Littlewood.
McKinsey & Company will be assisting the Forum’s thinking on global connectedness by presenting a report on the flows of goods, services, capital and people our two countries have with the rest of the world.
Australian Co-Chair Hon Warwick Smith AM (Senior Managing Director ANZ Bank and Chairman Australia China Council) said business placed a high priority on securing investment for future business growth.
“The Trans-Tasman relationship as a whole would particularly benefit from a better understanding in both countries of the importance of foreign direct investment for generating growth,” Mr Smith said.
He said the Forum would advocate for a better trans-Tasman investment environment.
The Forum’s Secretariat is supported by BusinessNZ, with funding from business and the New Zealand Government.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said trans-Tasman businesses shared many common issues, including the need to increase productivity, innovation and higher technology inputs to business.
“Removing barriers to productive, innovative workplaces in our two countries would help both succeed and grow,” Mr O’Reilly said.
Tomorrow’s Leadership Forum will be addressed by the leaders of major companies and a range of Ministers and the Leaders of the Opposition of both countries. Prime Ministers Key and Abbott will offer remarks at the conclusion of the Forum.