14 Feb 2011

Gillard coming for talks on trans-Tasman market

9:06 pm on 14 February 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is coming to New Zealand this week, to re-invigorate efforts to reduce the cost of doing business when crossing the Tasman.

The deposing of former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd and a federal election last year slowed work being done to develop a single economic market.

PricewaterhouseCoopers chairman John Shewan says Ms Gillard's visit should revive plans to reduce barriers between the two nations, though he's not expecting much on the vexed issue of mutual recognition of imputation credits.

He says it is likely officials will be told to work on the signing of an investment protocol, which is a critical part of moving CER to the next stage.

Mr Shewan says other issues may include a common border between the two countries to make travel simpler.

He says there are also a series of defence-related issues, including cooperation regarding natural disasters, regional cooperation and procurement.

Mr Shewan says more could be done to encourage regional cooperation in science and technology.

He says he would like to see increased cooperation in corporate regulation, tax, including mutual recognition of franking credits and further alignment of functions of government.