The East Asia Summit

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a regional leaders' forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on key challenges facing the East Asian region. The EAS is a significant regional grouping with an important role to play in advancing closer regional integration and cooperation at a time of particular dynamism in East Asia. Australia participated, as a founding member, in the inaugural EAS held in Kuala Lumpur on 14 December 2005.

Membership of the EAS comprises the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States and Russia. The 18 EAS member countries represent collectively 55 per cent of the world’s population and account for around 56 per cent of global GDP [IMF purchasing power parity GDP figures 2012]; EAS countries received more than 75 per cent of Australia's total exports and two-way trade with EAS countries was worth $416 billion in 2012-13. The centrepiece of the EAS year is an annual leaders' Summit, usually held back-to-back with annual ASEAN leaders' meetings. In addition, ministerial and senior officials' meetings are held during the year to take forward leaders' initiatives.

The Prime Minister attended the 8th EAS, held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam on 10 October 2013. The Summit provided a valuable opportunity for leaders to engage on key strategic, political, security and economic issues. EAS leaders discussed nuclear non-proliferation, the Korean Peninsula, developments in Syria and Iran, maritime security and management of disputes in the South China Sea. They also reviewed progress in priority areas of functional cooperation such as regional economic and financial integration, education, regional disaster response, energy and environment, health and connectivity.

EAS leaders also welcomed the launch of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) by Australian Prime Minister Abbott and Vietnamese Prime Minister Dung. The Asian Development Bank is hosting the APLMA Secretariat and has established two taskforces on Access to Quality Medicines and Other Technologies and Regional Financing. Australia is working with regional partners and the World Health Organization to tackle drug resistant malaria in the Asia-Pacific. EAS leaders also welcomed Australia’s New Colombo Plan and adopted a Declaration on Food Security.

East Asia Summit documents

Previous East Asia Summit documents