Tasman tigers. Let's see how Australia and New Zealand size
up off the field...
It's a rivalry as old as the Tasman sea itself, but clashes
New Zealand don't just stay on the sporting field. While
many in the northern hemisphere assume the two countries are one
and the same - the rumour that New Zealand will become the seventh
state of Australia circulates every few years to much furore in the
north and south islands - there is indeed a world of difference
between these two great lands down under, both on and off the
There's also two worlds complementing each other in every
As we gear up for this year's cricket World Cup final in
Melbourne on Sunday (29 March), and yet another mighty clash of
these two great nations, let us pause for a moment to remind the
rest of the world that while Australia and New Zealand are indeed
independent entities with their own business environments and
opportunities, there's no need to discount one for the
Looking at things purely on World Bank rankings, New Zealand
takes the trophy - but in the last over, on the last ball. The land
of the long white cloud was the easiest place in the world to start
a business according to the 2014 Doing Business ranking of
economies, while Australia was a No 7. As far as ease of doing
business in the two countries go, New Zealand is at No 2 to
Australia's No 10 - and that middle order between the two is
nothing to sneeze at; Hong Kong, the US, UK and Denmark all rank in
the top 10 ahead of Australia.
That said, our Australian experts advise that it only takes half
a day to set up a company in the wide brown land too once there is
consent to act. It goes to show that having local partners can
truly streamline processes!
Starting a business
Number of procedures
Time taken in days
Cost (% of income per capita)
Depth of talent
With a population of more than 23 million - and growing at a
rate of knots - Australia's talent pool is rich and
diversified. The Gross National Income per capita is US$65,520.
Conversely, while also in a high income category for the OECD, NZ
has a population of just under 5 million, with a GNI of US$40,481.
Both have well-educated and flexible workforces to draw upon, and
both traditional and innovative sectors are present.
While Australia has more land mass, most of it is arid desert,
while New Zealand is blessed with plenty fertile land. Just
don't get these two into a face-off over who has the best
opportunities in agriculture and natural resources; Australia will
likely win purely on size of the prize alone. Oh - did we mention
the tourism industry that is vital to both sides?
Remember that idea that to many in the northern hemisphere,
Australia and New Zealand are the same place? The governments
recognise that. Not only is there reciprocal visa rights between
citizens of the two countries, but there is a strong working
relationship between the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and the New
Zealand Inland Revenue (NZIRD) to share information and streamline
processes. Both are also signatories to the Trans Pacific
Partnership - aiming to set up free trade between Asia and the US -
and are members of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation).
Then there's the much-appreciated cooperation between the NZ
Companies Office and ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment
Commission). It removes the need to file the same information in
both countries, easing the burden of the back office when working
in both countries. Some companies are setting up in NZ thanks to
its advantageous Trust structure legislation, while others are
coming to Australia first as the AUD has fallen against the USD.
Either way, setting up in one country lets you take advantage of
the opportunities in the other.
Who bowls the maiden over?
Whether it's in the fields of business or the MCG, this
one's too tough to call.
New Zealand both have attractive opportunities for the right
punters. The question is: can we call this one a draw?
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