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Australian Productivity Commission

New Zealand Productivity Commission

January 2019


At their annual leaders’ meeting in March 2018, the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand commissioned a review into how Australia and New Zealand can work together to remove barriers to growing the digital economy, both between the two countries and into the region, to ensure that the two countries are prepared to seize the opportunities arising from digital transformation. They also commissioned work to identify opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to make full use of trans-Tasman economic integration. The Productivity Commissions of Australia and New Zealand will undertake joint research to examine priority areas for growing the digital economy, in particular opportunities for SMEs.

This can be achieved by designing regulatory regimes to enable innovation while controlling
potential harms, and by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government services to firms through greater use of data and digital technologies. In doing so, there are opportunities for the two countries to learn from each other while tailoring responses to domestic preferences and circumstances.

There are also opportunities to build on the demonstrated success and outward focus of the SEM agenda to advance shared interests in international forums. This can include promoting common global standards in areas where Australia and New Zealand have mutual interests, such as a global rules-based trading system and the elimination of non-tariff barriers.

Our report seeks to identify incremental and pragmatic opportunities that complement existing domestic or trans-Tasman policy priorities. Such opportunities exist in the delivery of trans-Tasman financial services, digital identity frameworks, streamlined digital trade processes and other areas.