Australia and New Zealand have distinct national identities and physical environments. However, they are also both former British colonies, sharing much history and common endeavour.
In the late 19th century they contemplated political union. While this did not eventuate, they continue to have much in common, including in culture, institutions and values. And the two countries are close geographically — Sydney being closer to Auckland than Perth.
These factors have enabled them to develop a closer relationship than could be expected with any other country. The Australian and New Zealand Governments have helped foster closer economic relations over a long period by reducing barriers to trade and investment, and facilitating free movement of people. In 1983, the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER agreement) was signed and the economic integration agenda has continued to evolve since then. The purpose of this scoping study is to advise the Australian and New Zealand Governments on future directions and priorities for further strengthening trans-Tasman economic relations.
Produced jointly by the Australian and New Zealand Productivity Commissions 2012