Pacific trade ministers to hold news conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is welcomed to Vietnam as she steps onto the tarmac

"Another consideration for Malaysia is the impact to our economy should we decide not to join the CPTPP, while the remaining 10 countries move ahead".

Instead they found Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, holding crisis meetings with Canada's Justin Trudeau over an undisclosed issue.

Trade ministers say they have reached a basic agreement on a Pacific Rim trade pact without the United States.

Briefing New Zealand media ahead of the APEC Leaders' Retreat in Da Nang, Viet Nam, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "I wouldn't want to speculate but I think probably we're in a more stable place than we were yesterday".

After their 50-minute meeting, Trudeau said Abe, co-chair of the TPP leaders' group, went to tell the other leaders, who had already gathered in the room, that the meeting had been postponed.

Trump said he would not enter into large trade agreements, alluding to US involvement in the North American Free Trade Agreement and the TPP.

"Having lost a bit of a momentum on the back of the decision by the Canadians not to attend the leaders meeting on the TPP 11, we'll have to keep working methodically through it", he told ABC TV on Sunday.

Motegi, taking part in the Abe-Trudeau summit, said "no clear explanation" was offered as to why Canada can not support and announce the agreement at the leaders' level.

The ministers have assigned chief negotiators to continue to work on contentious technical issues and conduct legal reviews in preparation for the signing of the pact, Anh said.

Talks - often heated - have been held on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in the Vietnamese resort of Danang, where Trump and other leaders held their main meeting on Saturday.

Trudeau had said days earlier that Canada would not be rushed into an agreement.

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A key topic of discussion, as they sank into the yellow cushions on their chairs, focused on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.

The TPP aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across a bloc whose trade totaled $356 billion past year.

Reuters said a statement was due to be made today, and it marked "a successful conclusion to talks in Vietnam", which at one stage had looked headed for failure amid resistance by Canada.

The TPP member countries are trying to find a way forward without the USA, the biggest economy and, before Trump took office, one of its most assertive supporters.

There was no immediate word on Canada's stance.

Ardern said CPTPP was "a different deal than what was being negotiated at the time that the United States were at the table ... not least because there have been some suspended clauses which were important to NZ in particular".

Chinese President Xi Jinping used the same forum to stress multilateralism and said globalisation was an irreversible trend. China is not part of the TPP.

As an institution, apart from its pageantry and its tradition of drawing leaders together for face-to-face meetings, APEC mainly serves as a laboratory for trying out policies and encouraging "best practices", said Alan Bollard, executive director for APEC's secretariat.

On Sunday, Trudeau will attend the ASEAN summit of 10 Southeast Asian leaders in Manila, hosted by President Rodgrigo Duterte, who has faced harsh global criticism for his human rights record.

"The fact that worldwide meetings were held continuously in a very short time is unprecedented, it did not happen even during the earlier negotiation period", Motegi said.

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