New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia
Government welcomes New Zealand-Australia investment agreement
A new Investment Protocol under the Closer Economic Relations (CER) trade agreement further strengthens the investment relationship between Australia and New Zealand, Finance Minister Bill English says.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key signed the Investment Protocol in Wellington today.
"New Zealand and Australia have one of the most open bilateral economic and trade relationships of any two countries. This relationship is underpinned by CER, which is the oldest and most comprehensive set of trade access arrangements that either country enjoys," Mr English says.
"The Investment Protocol builds on existing goods and services agreements, and aligns CER with other modern, high-quality free trade agreements.
"Australia is both the single largest source of direct foreign investment in New Zealand and is the largest overseas destination for New Zealand investment.
"The addition of investment to CER will cut red tape and compliance costs for investors on both sides of the Tasman."
Under the Investment Protocol, Australian and New Zealand investors will benefit from increases in the screening thresholds above which foreign investments in business assets require regulatory approval.
For New Zealand firms investing in Australia, the screening threshold will increase from A$231 million to A$1.005 billion. For Australian firms investing here, the threshold will increase from NZ$100 million to NZ$477 million. These thresholds will be updated annually based on changes in GDP.
The increased screening thresholds apply only to investments in significant business assets. The screening thresholds for investments in sensitive land and fishing quota are unchanged.