Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham will today travel to Auckland with Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific Alex Hawke for the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum.

“While Australia and New Zealand are great mates and have close people-to-people links, we both know there’s scope to create an even stronger economic relationship,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Closer ties will help drive economic growth, provide more opportunities for businesses and create jobs in both our countries.

“This visit is an important opportunity to advance our already strong trade and economic links that are underpinned by the high-quality Single Economic Market initiative.

“The Single Economic Market aims to create a seamless regulatory environment so that businesses find it simple to operate on both sides of the Tasman.

“This initiative helps both nations build on our already close trading relationship with two-way trade of goods and services worth $29.3 billion in 2018, and two-way investment worth $143.8 billion.”

In addition to Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum events, Minister Birmingham will hold a Closer Economic Relations ministerial meeting with the Hon David Parker, New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and meet business leaders to discuss opportunities and challenges facing businesses that operate across the Tasman.

Minister Hawke will meet with the Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand Minister of Defence and Minister for Veterans, aboard the newly commissioned HMNZS Manawanui, a dive and hydrographic vessel, which will be used for disaster relief, search and recovery and explosives disposal in the Pacific.

Minister Hawke will also meet with the Hon Aupito William Sio, New Zealand Minister for Pacific Peoples, Associate Minister for Courts and Associate Minister for Justice, and will host a dinner with Pacific business groups.

“The Australian Government has an open invitation to the private sector to work with us on social and economic development challenges in our region.” Minister Hawke said.

“We look forward to working closely with the New Zealand and Australian business sectors as we step-up our partnerships in the Pacific.”

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