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East Asia Summit (EAS)

East Asia Summit (EAS)

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is the Indo-Pacific's premier forum for strategic dialogue. It is the only leader-led forum at which all key partners meet to discuss political, security and economic challenges facing the Indo-Pacific, and has an important role to play in advancing closer regional cooperation. Australia participated, as a founding member, in the inaugural EAS held in Kuala Lumpur on 14 December 2005.

The EAS has 18 members - the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) along with Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States. ASEAN leads the forum, and the chair position rotates between ASEAN Member States annually. In 2020 EAS members represented 54 per cent of the world's population and accounted for 62 per cent of global GDP worth an estimated US$52.3 trillion. In 2020, Australia's two-way trade with EAS countries was worth A$570.0 billion, 71.4 per cent of Australia's total two-way trade.

EAS Meetings and Processes

The EAS calendar culminates in the annual Leaders' Summit, which is usually held alongside ASEAN Leaders' meetings in the fourth quarter of every year. In addition to their discussions, leaders issue statements on topical issues, to signal political will for framing policy responses and to provide a basis for cooperation.

In addition to the Leaders' Summit, meetings of EAS Foreign Ministers and Economic Ministers are held annually. These also serve as platforms for frank discussion of political, regional security and economic issues and prepare for the Leaders' Summit, including by developing new ideas on statements for leaders' consideration. Meetings of the EAS Environment, Energy, and Education Ministers are also held frequently.

Additional support for the EAS is provided through the EAS Ambassadors' Meeting in Jakarta (EAMJ). EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta meet regularly to discuss emerging issues, prepare for EAS meetings, and take forward decisions by EAS leaders.

A dedicated EAS Unit within the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta also supports the monitoring and implementation of decisions by EAS leaders.

Recent activities in the EAS

East Asia Summit 2021

The 16th EAS was held on 27 October 2021, chaired by Brunei Darussalam via videoconference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). EAS leaders discussed key regional issues including safe, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, health security, the South China Sea, the situations in Myanmar and Hong Kong, the Korean Peninsula, climate change, cybersecurity and countering violent extremism.

EAS leaders adopted three statements in 2021: Sustainable Recovery (proposed by China and the United States); Economic Growth Through Tourism Recovery (proposed by Russia); and Mental Health Cooperation (proposed by Brunei Darussalam and co-sponsored by Australia).

Australia co-hosted an EAS workshop on mental health with Brunei Darussalam on 22-23 November to implement the aims of the leader’s statement on mental health. The workshop convened policymakers, practitioners and mental experts from across EAS participating countries to exchange best practices and national experiences on mental health policy making and policy implementation.

EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2021

The 10th EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held on 4 August 2021 via videoconference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), chaired by Brunei Darussalam. Foreign Ministers discussed strategic challenges facing the region, including safe, equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines; the situation in Myanmar; maritime security and the South China Sea; the Korean Peninsula; counter-terrorism; disinformation; and climate change.

EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting 2021

The 9th EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting was held on 15 September 2021 via videoconference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), chaired by Brunei Darussalam. EAS Economic Ministers agreed to prioritise economic recovery and building resilience post-COVID-19 by: facilitating trade, investment, and secure and resilient supply chains; supportive fiscal policy; strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a predictable business environment. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the rules-based multilateral trading system centred on the World Trade Organization (WTO).

East Asia Summit documents 2021

East Asia Summit documents 2020

East Asia Summit documents 2019

East Asia Summit documents 2018

East Asia Summit documents 2017

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