On the Web The Websites of Oz

Polls suggest that growing number of us believe New Zealand and Australia should simply take the final step, say our respective vowels (or would it be prayers for New Zealand?) and join our economies in holy fiscal matrimony, locking our future economic fortunes together in sickness and in health, once and for all. The last time we flirted with the idea was back at the turn of the 20th Century.

The signing of the Closer Economic Relationship (CER) trade agreement 20 years ago was, of course, first step toward long-term engagement that might still turn into more meaningful marriage, or day of economic reckoning, depending on your viewpoint. Management’s focus on recording 20 years of CER in this issue, provides an opportunity to take look at some websites that explain how CER works and how they do things across the Tasman.

www.dfat.gov.au/geo The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has put together comprehensive guide to the ins and outs of CER accessible via this site under the New Zealand section on CER titled ‘The CER Background Guide’. As its contents page points out, the guide provides information on the aims of CER, how it evolved, ‘Provisions and Principles’, ‘Measures and Provisions to Minimise Potential Non-Tariff Barriers and Access Restrictions’, and section on ‘Measures to Create Harmonised Business Environment. There is also section dealing with details on ‘Trade in Services’ and suggestions on where to go for advice if you need it. In short, there’s everything you need to know about CER in single document. It’s good site with other valuable information viewers should take the time to look at to get better fix on the Oz potential.

www.tradenz.govt.nz and www.marketnewzealand.com These two sites are both run by Trade New Zealand. The first is the website for the agency itself and is useful if you’re after export statistics and market analysis, trade relevant news and articles, or contact details for the New Zealand Trade Commissioner in Australia as well as the market services manager based in New Zealand.

The marketnewzealand.com site is relatively new and contains some resources spun off from the original Trade New Zealand site as well as new information. The site aims to help customers find products and services from New Zealand’s leading exporters and provides direct channel to promote our goods and services to the world. Most useful to the would-be exporter is the ‘Market Intelligence’ section. If it’s Australia you’re interested in then click on ‘Country Briefs’ and then ‘Australia’ – it provides an overview of the current business environment in Australia. This pathway will lead to market update for Australia and the South Pacific and travel advice.

www.business.gov.au This is another site run by the Australian Federal Government coordinated and presented by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources as ‘Business Entry Point’. It provides practical information about setting up business in Australia – useful to both Australians and overseas investors. There’s information on the different state and territory governments and what business investment assistance you can expect state by state. The ‘Jargon buster’ dictionary of government, business and computing terms might also come in handy.

www.investaustralia.gov.au This website touts for potential investors in Australia. Here you’ll find investor services including details on the business environment in Australia, investor guides, FAQ’s about doing business in Oz, links to other resources and state agencies. There’s section on Australia’s industrial relations and relevant legislation and another on ‘Australian Advantage – the Case for making business within Australia’ and it’s not just better access to the MCG or SCG. There’s also information detailing industry strengths within Australia. It’s functional, clearly presented site that does its job well, and therefore comes highly recommended.

Damon Birchfield is an Auckland-based freelance writer.
Email: [email protected]

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