Key Points:

Prime Minister Helen Clark left Sydney happy the Apec leaders' summit had made progress on climate change policy and giving a push to stalled free trade talks.

Sydney residents put up with one more day of inconvenience as the motorcades of the 21 leaders of the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation forum took them out of the city to their waiting planes.

Helen Clark said the centrepiece of the forum - the Sydney Declaration on Climate Change - was a positive step forward.

It was criticised by environmentalists and others as too weak and containing only aspirational goals, but Australian PM John Howard dismissed those concerns.

He said it had been a major step forward to get developing nations to the negotiating table.

Mr Howard said the Kyoto Protocol had failed to do this and that is why he never signed up.

Helen Clark said it was a sign of how far the debate over global warming had come, as it would have been impossible to imagine it on the agenda of such a gathering just a few years ago.

Leaders had also agreed to more moves to integrate their economies. This covered issues such as open market access, competition law and anti-corruption measures.

Helen Clark said it was "implicit that a greater focus would fall on a Pacific rim free trade zone, if the current World Trade Organisation talks completely collapsed".

"Deep down I don't think anyone thinks that there will never be a successful Doha round. It may take time, but in the end there should be a round that has a measure of success."

She said there had also been talk of other countries entering the P4 trade deal between New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and Chile.

- NZPA