RTTNews - Tuesday, the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key proposed a Single Economic Market between New Zealand and Australia in order to weather the current economic crisis taking place in both countries. He was addressing the Business Leaders' Forum in the Queensland University of Technology.

The Prime Minister said as both countries were open economies, they cannot escape being exposed to economic woes of their important trading partners, whether in Asia, North America or Europe. This was one of the motivations for the proposal for a unified market.

Key said the main aim was to make business easy in New Zealand just as in Australia. It's about breaking down barriers at the border, like investment screening. But it's also about looking behind the border at things like regulation, tax, or anything else that raises the cot of doing business trans Tasman.

A strong New Zealand assists Australia and vice versa. Open competition drives productivity and in the long run will ensure both nations are well placed to compete on the world stage, he said.

Key pointed out that Australia was a vital part of the country's economic future, being New Zealand's number one export destination, with trade between the two nations increasing almost 50% between 2004 and 2009. Moreover, the country was an important tourist destination for the Australians, with about one million crossing tourists traveling in both directions across the Tasman every year. In this context, Key also proposed to announce some measures next month in order to streamline the travel between the countries, with benefits for tourists and business people.

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