Trade ministers are meeting in Singapore this week in their latest efforts to reach a Pacific-wide trade deal.
It is the first ministers' meeting of the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) since December, when they missed their self-imposed deadline to conclude an agreement.
The New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser, is confident a deal can be reached by the middle of the year.
The TPP has been dogged by leaks, questions about the size of the economic gains for member countries, and demands for greater public scrutiny.
Outstanding issues such as American demands for tougher patent and copyright rules also appear no closer to resolution.
However some commentators say there has been a lot of momentum behind the negotiations to try to secure a deal soon. The meeting takes place from 22 to 25 February.