TPPA leaders to meet at APEC

  • 18/11/2015
John Key (AAP)
John Key (AAP)

By Sarah Robson

The leaders of the 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will be getting together on the sidelines of the annual APEC summit – the first time they've met since a deal on the landmark free trade agreement was reached.

Prime Minister John Key, US President Barack Obama, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be among those at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting in Manila today.

Now there's a finalised agreement on the table, Mr Key expects other APEC countries will begin to signal their interest in joining the TPPA.

One of those could be China.

"I think China will be seriously considering whether they want to come in. It's got a lot to gain from potentially being part of that free trade agreement," Mr Key told reporters.

"I wouldn't be surprised if for a variety of different reasons the Chinese eventually think it's not a bad thing to do to join [TPPA]."

Mr Key will be meeting one-on-one with China's President Xi Jinping today and the TPPA is likely to come up in discussions.

There are also formal talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Mr Key's schedule.

Trade and economic issues are the main focus of APEC, but in the aftermath of the deadly terror attacks in Paris, the threat of terrorism is likely to be a big talking point.

"It's very hard to believe that you'd get 21 leaders of countries and economies coming together at a time where you've seen such a terrible and tragic set of circumstances playing out in Paris for leaders not to be talking about that," Mr Key said.

"It affects every country, it affects tourism flows, it potentially affects investment flows, and it affects global confidence."

The slowdown in China, Japan's dip back into recession and the ongoing tensions around the South China Sea are also likely to feature throughout the talks.

NZN