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Ministers Australia-bound for leader talks

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/10/2016

Six ministers are bound for Australia for an annual bilateral leadership conference bringing together the heads of more than 200 trans-Tasman companies.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English is leading the delegation to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum, this year being hosted in Sydney where initiatives around trade and the relationship between the two economies will be up for discussion.

"Seventy five per cent of New Zealand exporters generate income in Australia, so it's vital that we keep the trans-Tasman economy energised," Mr English said.

He is joined by ministers Steven Joyce, Nathan Guy, Todd McClay, Nicky Wagner and Paul Goldsmith.

The forum's New Zealand co-chair Adrian Littlewood said opportunities for closer collaboration had been identified in the tourism, agri-business, health, technology and innovation sectors and pursuing policy goals and initiatives beneficial to both countries would be on the table.

"In so far as the agri-business sector, our efforts are very much focused on achieving a common trans-Tasman approach to non-tariff barriers which impact on Australian and New Zealand agricultural exports to overseas markets," he said.

"We will also be discussing potential new areas for trans-Tasman collaboration, such as in the indigenous business sector."

Mr English is also scheduled to meet with Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison, while reinvigorating the Single Economic Market is also on the agenda.

"We are continuing to build a seamless trans-Tasman market so that it is as easy for New Zealand businesses to operate in Sydney as it is in Auckland," he said.

Mr English and Mr Morrison are also expected to launch the Australia New Zealand Information Pipeline, bringing transparency to better identify infrastructure opportunities in both countries.

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