But this time, the Canadian prime minister had a somewhat atypical agenda for his face-to-face chat with the Mexican president.
As world leaders descend on the Vietnamese city of Danang for this weekend's APEC summit, the nomenclature of free trade - TPP, RCEP and OBOR to name but a few - will be in full flow. The Canadian team had planned it that way.
Talks have resumed between Australian and 10 other countries for a Trans-Pacific Partnership after a last-minute no-show by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a key meeting threw the deal into doubt.
The minister suggested that any changes to trade rules related to the auto sector - a major point of concern among North American auto makers and labour leaders - would be determined at a later date.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trudeau said though Canada was pleased with the progress made on TPP, there was "still more important work to be done".
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, provided a peek behind the scenes of what followed during the TPP talks in Danang. And they knew they had some allies.
"But we can't control the decisions of other countries".
Asked if Canada had now agreed with Thursday's broad agreement in a later meeting of ministers on Friday, Motegi said, "It did".
That's where Mexico fit in.
Trade Minister Steve Ciobo is confident Canada will sign up to the 11-country free-trade agreement that would give Australia access to markets worth $1 trillion.
Canada's resistance to the new TPP does not come out entirely of the blue.
"We are still negotiating - this is a very, very complex negotiation", Freeland said.
The TPP negotiations originally included the United States, but U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the talks.
But more work must be done before leaders of the countries involved can endorse the plan, said Anh and his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi.
It's still in the negotiation stages but interest in it has renewed since the American withdrawal from TPP - a matter of concern for those who wish to see the USA taking the lead on global trade.
Meanwhile, Liu Meng-chun (劉孟俊), an economist at Taiwan's Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (中華經濟研究院), yesterday said the nation must find a way to join the TPP, and that it must avoid becoming marginalized while also seeking to strengthen its trade relationship with the US.
Their meeting was positive and it stretched for about 50 minutes, even though it had only been scheduled for half that time.
"We obviously had lots to talk about and at the end of that meeting it became clear that it was in everyone's interest to postpone the leaders' meeting on the TPP11", Trudeau said.
Trudeau's lengthy bilateral discussion with Abe started before the meeting's cancellation.
It has been reported the no-show was a scheduling misunderstanding. The official disputes the notion it was a snub because the leaders would mingle at APEC events over the next 24 hours anyway.
An earlier issue over wording, thought to involve Vietnam, has been resolved. Since then, the remaining 11 nations, which include Canada, Japan and Australia, have struggled for a way forward.