One of the first things John Key will do at the Apec summit in Manila today is celebrate the conclusion of the Trans Pacific Partnership talks at a meeting chaired by US President Barack Obama.
They will talk about a formal signing ceremony early next year and how other countries may join the existing grouping of 12 TPP countries.
The deal was finalised in Atlanta early last month after five years of negotiation and still has to be passed by the United States Congress as the country gears up for presidential selections and an election contest.
Mr Key said he believed it would pass, having had extensive discussions with US Trade Representative Mike Froman in New York in September.
South Korea is almost certain to be the next country to join, having FTAs settled or under negotiation with 11 of the 12 TPP countries.
Colombia may make an early bid to join as well. Although it is not a member of Apec, its three other partners in the Pacific Alliance trade bloc, Mexico, Peru and Chile, are all in Apec and in TPP. The Asean countries of Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia have expressed an interest. And China is considered a longer term prospect.
"I don't think there is any doubt TPP will be a focal point for discussions at Apec because it has now been successfully concluded," Mr Key told reporters. "I think leaders will want to both celebrate that, and talk about the next stage of implementation of TPP and ratification of TPP."
Anti-TPP campaigner and Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey said any country wanting to join would have to get the permission of each of the 12 countries on terms acceptable to them.
"They can demand things additional to what is in the agreement," she said. "It will be a TPPA-plus set of obligations and they will have to do that with each of the 12 countries individually, each of which will have different sets of TPPA-plus demands.
"The time for any other country to join is actually some way off and on terms that are going to screw them."
Mr Key said other issues at Apec would include Japan's recession and China.
He also believed Isis and the threat of terrorism would be raised in discussions, including its impact on the global economy and on people's sense of security as they travelled internationally.
Mr Key will have several opportunities to speak to Mr Obama but said he would be amazed if he wanted to discuss New Zealand's invitation to send a US vessel to mark the Navy's 75th birthday next year. The issue was working its way through the US system. At some point the Navy would have to make a recommendation to the President.
What is the Apec summit?
An annual leaders' meeting of 21 economies to talk mainly trade and economics but also security and other pressing issues of the day.
What are the pressing issues this year?
The just-concluded TPP deal; Isis, terrorism, the migration crisis and its effects on the economy; the slowdown of China and Japan; and the climate-change conference.
What's not on the agenda?
The territorial disputes among China and several southeast Asian countries. This year's host, the Philippines, has promised to keep it off the agenda.
Who are the ones to watch?
The presidents of the United States and China, Barack Obama and Xi Jinping. Russian President Vladimir Putin sends his apologies this year citing too many domestic issues, including the downing of a Russian aircraft in the Middle East that killed 224. It will be Malcolm Turnbull's first Apec since replacing Tony Abbott and Justin Trudeau's first Apec since ousting Stephen Harper at the Canadian election. It will be New Zealand Prime Minister John Key's 8th Apec.