The annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ talks have taken the cooperation between our two countries forward in a number of areas, Prime Minister Bill English says.
Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation.
Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch.
“Australia is our closest friend and ally.
“A friendship is never stronger than in times of need and New Zealand is very appreciative of the understanding Australians have shown those in Christchurch this week.” Mr English says.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed their joint commitment to promoting open markets and removing trade barriers.
“The annual meeting is an opportunity for a wide-ranging discussion and is a reflection of the closeness of trans-Tasman ties,” Mr English says.
“The trans-Tasman trade and economic relationship provides an excellent model for deeper economic integration and we continue to build on that foundation as we engage with other partners.
“We want to help our traders and our consumers take advantage of the opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.”
The Prime Ministers also confirmed that in light of the US decision not to ratify the TPP, Australia and New Zealand will work together as they engage with other TPP members on the way forward for the Agreement.
The Leaders’ meeting included the signing of an agreement that will better integrate Australia and New Zealand’s science, research and innovation agendas by enabling collaboration between researchers and innovative companies on both sides of the Tasman.
The ongoing work towards a Single Economic Market was also on today’s agenda with a strong commitment expressed from both sides to continue to find ways to make it easier to operate across the trans-Tasman market.
Mr English welcomed Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement of greater flexibilities in the implementation of the pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders who are long-term residents in Australia. The pathway recognises the importance of the bilateral relationship and the strong people links between the two countries.
The Prime Ministers also discussed the current global security environment and reiterated their commitment to working together to respond to regional and international challenges.