Trade deal discussed as leaders gather for APEC summit

The world's rich and powerful are gathering in the Chinese capital for the APEC summit.

China is taking extraordinary steps to make sure the city shines for the APEC meeting. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and other leaders will meet in Beijing on Monday but trade talks are already starting behind the scenes.

New Zealand's Trade and Climate Change Minister Tim Groser's focus this weekend is on trade and advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. TPPA ministers met today, although the talks weren't on APEC's official agenda.

New Zealand and other TPPA countries have had to walk a tightrope even negotiating to hold meetings in China. That's because China is not part of the deal, pushing instead for other free trade agreements with APEC nations.

Jane Kelsey, an international economic regulation expert, says to have TPPA discussions in China of both the ministers and possibly the leaders could be quite inflammatory.

Mr Groser insists he won't sign any deal that puts New Zealand interests at risk.

"We will have everything on the table, we will have a full democratic and it will be one hell of a debate in New Zealand on whether it does makes sense. And then, you know, democracy will have its way," he told ONE News.

Ms Kelsey says despite what Mr Groser has said about New Zealand holding out for a high- standard deal, New Zealand a bit player," and my pick is that minister Groser will take whatever is put on the table".

John Key is expected to meet US President Barack Obama and other TPPA leaders in Beijing on Monday. Like Mr Groser, Mr Key he insists we won't take just any deal.

'APEC blue'

Meanwhile, China is taking extraordinary steps to make sure the city shines for the summit.

Clear blue skies and sun shining is a stark contrast to the smog-laden air normally experienced in the Chinese capital and locals are calling it "APEC blue".

Showing off to the world's leaders in China means forcing cars off the streets and adopting pollution control measures said to be tougher than those imposed for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Mr Groser, hopes a cleaner Beijing will inspire China to clean up its act.