New Zealand has left the East Asia Summit with an improved free trade agreement with China, a slow pathway towards a deal with the US, but a roadblock to a fresh Indian treaty.
The Bangkok summit failed to resolve the impasse between India and the other 15 nations - including both Australia and New Zealand - who are striving to achieve the gargantuan RCEP free trade agreement.
RCEP would incorporate 16 economies, led by China, that comprise almost half the world's population and a third of global GDP.
Fifteen countries - China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN nations - have agreed on the text of the deal.
But India remains a hold-out, fearful of an importation of Chinese products in its emerging economy.
New Zealand is eager to gain access on behalf of its dairy exporters, though that's also a sticking point with India.
While hailing the 15-nation agreement as a success in itself, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said India shouldn't fear a more open trade arrangement.
"We are not going to displace the entire globe or indeed India's agricultural sector," Ardern said.
"We cannot physically feed the world and we don't seek to.
"We can offer benefits; the sharing of innovation, the sharing of service and high-value high-quality products from within our agricultural sector.
"I think we've got a good story to tell. We've got a good pitch to make and we'll continue to do so."
RCEP negotiators will continue to work on luring India into the deal next year, but may go ahead as a 15-nation agreement if they don't join up.
While the RCEP deal ran aground, Ardern claimed a win in agreeing an upgrade to New Zealand's existing deal with China.
New Zealand's dairy and forestry sectors stand to benefit from improved access and tariff relaxation, while fresh food exporters will enjoy fast-tracked customs approval.
The hope of a deal with the US remains further away.
America noticeably downgraded its representation in Bangkok, with President Donald Trump staying at home and sending national security adviser Robert O'Brien instead.
It was Trump that gave the signal to move trade talks along when he met with Ardern in September, asking his staff "why don't we get on with it?".
After meeting with O'Brien, Ardern reported "the wheels are in motion", if rotating slowly.
"Free trade agreements, the lead-up to them and indeed the agreements themselves always take time," she said.
"I've had nothing but positive noises every time we've met with our counterparts and that continued today.
"I'm very pleased that we have senior officials meeting in Washington in the next week to continue those conversations."
Australian Associated Press