New Zealand and Australia have committed to a process called the Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda, designed to create a seamless trans-Tasman business environment.

The SEM agenda builds on the NZ-Australia CER agreement identifying innovative, low-cost actions to reduce discrimination and costs arising from different, conflicting or duplicate regulations or institutions in either country.

The SEM agenda has already brought significant economic benefits to both countries by lowering business costs and increasing the ease with which both businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.

In 2009 the two countries agreed to a framework to speed up the creation of the SEM. A broad range of initiatives to advance the SEM is currently in progress under the following themes:

  • Reducing the impact of borders – focusing on reducing and streamlining barriers at the border, eg cooperation between Customs agencies to streamline border processing, the 2013 CER Investment Protocol and the 2013 trans-Tasman superannuation portability scheme (external link)
  • Improving the business environment through regulatory coordination – a range of business law initiatives have been progressed thorugh the 'Trans-Tasman Outcomes Implementation Group' including in the areas of insolvency law, financial reporting, competition policy, business reporting, intellectual property law and consumer policy. This includes, for example, a Trans-Tasman regieme for mutual recognition of security offerings and equivalent consumer credit requirements and enforcement regimes on both sides of the Tasman
  • Improving regulatory effectiveness – finding ways for regulators to operate more efficiently and effectively, eg the 2013 Trans-Tasman Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement Treaty, which allows the enforcement of civil judgements across the Tasman
  • Supporting business opportunities – helping businesses to take advantage of openness in trans-Tasman markets, eg through the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum, and joint trade promotion efforts by our two countries’ international business development agencies.