NZ, Australia making progress on single market: ministers

13:38, July 14, 2011      

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New Zealand and Australia have made considerable progress in moves towards a single economic market between the two countries, according to a "stock take" of achievements released Thursday.

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan released the document after holding talks in Wellington on the steps taken towards the creation of a single trans-Tasman market since an outcome framework was announced in August 2009.

The two ministers reiterated their support for the Single Economic Market, which, they said, would stimulate business activity, drive job creation, improve the environment for doing business, and bring benefits to consumers and businesses on both sides.

The "stock take" showed progress made in converging accounting and financial reporting standards, aligning regulatory regimes, and coordinating the enforcement of consumer laws, said a statement from the New Zealand government.

The ministers briefed each other on developments in their respective economies, focusing on domestic developments and how international trends were affecting economic growth, it said.

They also discussed how their respective economies were recovering from the earthquakes around New Zealand's second city of Christchurch and the flooding and cyclones in Queensland, Australia.

They met New Zealand Climate Change Minister Nick Smith to discuss climate change policy and the recent announcement of Australia's Carbon Pricing Mechanism and how to integrate policies.

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