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Event to address the future of Trans-Tasman trade

22 February, 2023

Interview by Arno Cronje, adapted by Stella Huggins

Listen to the interview here

Image from Andre Stratu on Unsplash

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School (ATEPS), an event hosted by the Public Policy Institute of the University of Auckland. The two-day event aims to cover the Trans-Tasman geo-political context, Regional Trade Agreements, developments in Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Indigenous Trade Policy, digital trade, sustainable trade and the Green Economy, global RTAs, and the future of trade.


Speaking to The Wire, Professor Jennifer Curtin, Director of the Public Policy Institute said the event expects international speakers to speak on the topics. Individuals from Australia, including representatives from the indigenous community, are expected, as well as policy experts from Aotearoa.


Curtin hopes the event will “showcase really important themes that will be picked up… at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum, which is happening around the prime ministerial meeting in July.”


Australia, says Professor Curtin, plays an integral role in Aotearoa’s economic dealings, “making up 12% of total goods exports and a large share of service imports. “on a straight dollar basis, it’s really important in terms of our partnership.”


Curtin says the discourse about climate action in the Pacific is expected, as nations navigate “progressing work on behalf of the Pacific and with the Pacific Islands to address key issues around climate change, [and] thinking inclusively about trade.” The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is also a hot topic, “considered by some trade policy experts to be one of the multilateral agreements that we have not focused on enough… and why we should be talking about it a bit more.”


In an election year, the Trans-Tasman relationship has the potential to morph as different parties vie for the opportunity to maintain it. In general, though, Curtin says “we have seen that political leaders from different sides of the Tasman do keep the relationship strong as they can.”


Public interest journalism funded by New Zealand On Air