The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

17 January 2008

NO.001

First Meeting Between Treasurer and
Dr Michael Cullen, New Zealand Finance Minister

Today in Sydney I met with my New Zealand counterpart, Dr Michael Cullen, to discuss the importance of the bilateral relationship between our two nations.

The meeting provided an ideal opportunity to get to know Dr Cullen, and for us to talk about global economic conditions and how they affect our national economies.

We agreed to look for further opportunities to bring the Australian and New Zealand economies closer together.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA), which was signed by the Hawke Government in 1983.

This anniversary is a time for us to reflect on the achievements of the past 25 years.

Importantly, it also offers the opportunity for us to consider how to build on this success and reinvigorate the work program going forward.

This future work will include the renegotiation of the Australia-New Zealand bilateral tax treaty.

Dr Cullen and I also discussed the implications of the US sub-prime market and the challenges facing our economies.

I informed him that Australia is well placed to ride out the turbulence that flows from events in the United States but we are not immune from it.

Both Australia and New Zealand have benefited economically from the surge in world commodity prices over recent years, but this brings challenges as well as opportunities.

In that context we discussed the Rudd Government's commitment to modernising the Australian economy to address supply constraints and help put downward pressure on inflation.

SYDNEY
17 January 2008