Austrade can help Australian companies become familiar with local market conditions and help develop export opportunities through a number of merchant and Australian services. The next step for the Australian and New Zealand governments is to continue on the path of economic integration and create a customs union through a common external customs duty and a common competition policy. New Zealand and Australia already have a common competition policy, but they are unlikely to have a common external tariff. [Citation required] CER was based on the former New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed on 31 August 1965 and entered into force on 1 January 1966. NAFTA had lifted four-fifths of tariffs between the two countries and quantitative restrictions on trade in the Tasmanian Sea. However, it was deemed too complex and bureaucratic, and in March 1980 a joint communiqué from the Prime Minister was issued calling for “closer economic relations”. All products that comply with the CER`s rules of origin can be traded duty-free between New Zealand and Australia. ANZCERTA has been recognized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a model free trade agreement covering a wide range of trade issues, essentially the entire transtasmanic trade in goods, including agricultural products, and services. In 2005, Trans Tasman merchandise trade was $14.4 billion and trans-Tasman services trade was $4.7 billion. New Zealand is Australia`s fifth largest export market (7% of exports) and the eighth largest source of imports.
Australia is New Zealand`s main trading partner (21% of imports and 21% of exports). 8 In 2004/2005, New Zealand exported $5.3 billion in goods to Australia, while Australia exported $9.2 billion in goods to New Zealand.9 We are also working to create a combined transtasmanic approach to trade with the rest of the world. The 2013 ERC Investment Protocol is an ambitious investment agreement and maintains the status of the RECs as one of the most comprehensive free trade agreements in the world. The protocol reduces compliance costs and provides greater legal certainty for cross-Channel investors by providing for higher thresholds for the control of foreign investments. . . .