Key and Abbott to provide double vision on economic growth

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 07:57 04/02/2014

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John Key and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott are set to appear in a rare double act across the Tasman.

In an event labelled historic by its organisers, the two prime ministers will share a stage in Sydney on Friday to outline their vision and policies for economic growth and regional engagement.

It is the first time in recent memory that prime ministers have teamed up for a joint speech and tickets are selling for between A$200 (NZ$216) and A$300 a seat.

Key will leave for Australia on an air force 757 immediately after returning from Waitangi Day celebrations.

He is taking a group of senior ministers, along with as many as 50 leading businesspeople, and about a dozen media. Top of the agenda is a joint Cabinet meeting between the New Zealand ministers and their Australian counterparts - an event that has now become a regular occurrence, and the first since the change of government in Australia last year.

Abbott said yesterday that Australia's relationship with New Zealand was "like no other".

"With the centenary of Anzac fast approaching, this visit is another unique opportunity to reflect on the unique bonds that bind our two nations, our shared history and our common values."

He and Key would be meeting separately from the joint Cabinet meeting to discuss "mutual economic opportunities".

The year is shaping up as a big one for Australia, which will in November host the G20 gathering of some of the world's most powerful leaders.

New Zealand has been given a rare seat at the table thanks to an invitation from Abbott, and the Government also hopes to capitalise on the event by inviting world leaders, including United States President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, to visit before or after the G20.

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- The Dominion Post

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