40 years of closer economic relations across the ditch

  • Media release

40 years ago today, Australia signed the Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement with our closest partner and ally, New Zealand.

This is Australia’s longest standing free trade agreement and foundation of the indispensable trade and economic partnership between Australia and New Zealand.

Since the adoption of the agreement in 1983, two-way trans-Tasman trade has increased at an average annual rate of around eight per cent.

The agreement remains one of the most comprehensive trade agreements in the world, representing $29 billion in two-way trade, and $185 billion in two-way investment in 2021-22.

For 40 years it has provided tariff free trade across the Tasman, opened up opportunities for investment, and created jobs for Australians. We know that one in four Australian jobs rely on trade.

The trade and economic relationship between our two countries is uniquely close and as we look to the future, New Zealand will continue to be an important partner and close friend to Australia.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell:

“The 40th anniversary of the Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement is a significant milestone for two proud trading nations.”

“The agreement serves as an economic bedrock between Australia and New Zealand.”

“For forty years, generations of Aussies and Kiwis have benefitted from our world-leading trade agreement.”

“We look forward to the next forty years of open trade across the ditch.”

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