19/11/2016 7:38 AM AEDT | Updated 19/11/2016 10:12 AM AEDT

Turnbull Yet To Schedule Meeting With President-Elect Trump

The PM made the admission at APEC in Peru.

AFP/Getty Images
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in Peru for the APEC summit.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has touched down in Peru for this year's APEC summit after failing to set up a meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump.

Turnbull has made free trade a top priority at the meeting in Lima, emphasising its importance to the Australian economy.

He is said to have urged APEC to resist any return to protectionism, telling delegates to stay on track on free trade. He is also expected to reiterate his commitment to lower business taxes, Macquarie Radio reports.

"(Protectionism) is the way to poverty," Mr Turnbull is quoted as telling reporters in the Peruvian capital.

"We have seen this film before, the world did this in the 1930s after the Great Depression and made it much worse."

Turnbull has been unable to organise a meeting with president-elect Trump after the billionaire businessman defeated democrat nominee Hillary Clinton at the US election.

According to SBS, Turnbull and Trump discussed the possibility of a meeting soon after Trump's election victory, but a meet-up hasn't yet materialised, with the PM not confident of a catch up in the short term.

"It hasn't been possible to schedule one on the way to (APEC) and certainly not on the way back because I'll already be missing a day of parliament, and that's one day enough if not one day too many," Mr Turnbull said in Peru.

There are also reports Australia is close to reaching an asylum seeker deal with Malaysia with Turnbull planning to meet with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak while in Peru.

The deal would follow a one-off resettlement deal between Australia and the United States that Turnbull announced last week that would plan to move refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.