John Key and Malcolm Turnbull have publicly declared their status as "Best Friends Forever".

The pair had a bilateral meeting in Laos late last night New Zealand time, ahead of today's East Asia Summit.

Before the questions got under way, Key took a moment to rib Turnbull about Australia's close relationship with post-Brexit Britain.

"New Zealand media were offended that you might not love me as much as Theresa May, I was trying to say 'oh for God's sake we're BFF's forever," Key joked, to which Turnbull responded "yeah we are, that's absolutely right".

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Turnbull said economic prosperity and regional stability were the main talking points during their meeting.

"The big item is going to be counter-terrorism, and enhance cooperation there and of course our defence forces are working as closely as they always do in the battle against ISIL."