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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 2019 EAS members represented 54 per cent of the world's population and accounted for 58 per cent of global GDP worth an estimated US$49.6 trillion. In 2019-20, Australia's two-way trade with EAS countries was worth A$619.9 billion, 71 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

The 15th EAS was held on 15 November 2020, chaired by Vietnam via video conference. EAS leaders discussed key regional issues including safe, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, health resilience, the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, the situation in Hong Kong, climate change, marine plastic debris, cybercrime, extremism and disinformation.

EAS leaders adopted five statements in 2020: Strengthening Collective Capacity in Epidemics Prevention and Response (proposed by China and Russia); Cooperation to Promote Steady Growth of Regional Economy (proposed by China); Women, Peace and Security (proposed by the United States); Marine Sustainability (proposed by Vietnam); and the Ha Noi Declaration on the Fifteenth Anniversary of the East Asia Summit (proposed by Vietnam).

The 10th EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held on 9 September 2020 via videoconference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Vietnam, as the 2020 ASEAN and EAS Chair, convened the meeting. Foreign Ministers discussed strategic challenges facing the region, including COVID-19 response and recovery, maritime security and the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, Rakhine State, and counter-terrorism.

The 8th EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting was held on 28 August 2020 via videoconference. Ministers discussed the global economic outlook, regional economic recovery, and the regional economic integration agenda. They also exchanged views on the importance of digital economy and resilient supply chains.

Health and economic experts from EAS countries also met on 14 October via videoconference to exchange views on COVID-19 response and recovery.

East Asia Summit documents 2020

East Asia Summit documents 2019

East Asia Summit documents 2018

East Asia Summit documents 2017

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