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East Asia Summit (EAS)

EAS Factsheet

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a meeting of 18 regional leaders for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security, and economic challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region.


The EAS comprises the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – as well as Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.

The EAS membership represents around 54 per cent of the world's population and accounts for 58 per cent of global GDP. It includes 8 of Australia's top 10 trading partners.  In 2019, Australia's two-way trade with EAS countries was worth around A$645.6 billion, 70 per cent of total two-way trade.

EAS in Regional Architecture

The EAS is an ASEAN-centred forum and can only be chaired by an ASEAN member.

EAS Chair

The chair of ASEAN is also the chair of the EAS. The role of ASEAN chair rotates annually between the ten ASEAN member states. The chair sets EAS priorities for the year, in consultation with EAS participating countries, and hosts most EAS meetings.

  • Current chair: 2020 Vietnam
  • Past chairs: 2019 Thailand, 2018 Singapore
  • Future chairs: 2021 Brunei, 2022 Cambodia

Key Dates

  • 1974: Australia became ASEAN's first dialogue partner
  • 1994: Australia joined the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
  • 2005: Australia acceded to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
  • 2005: Australia participated, as a founding member, in the inaugural EAS in Kuala Lumpur
  • 2011: The US and Russia joined the EAS
  • 2014: Australia's relationship with ASEAN elevated to a Strategic Partnership
  • 2015: The Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th Anniversary of the EAS issued
  • 2018: 1st ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, Sydney

Key EAS Meetings in 2020

  • July: EAS Senior Officials' Meetings
  • August: EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting
  • September: EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  • October: Health and Economic Experts’ Meeting on COVID-19
  • November: EAS Leaders' Summit

Recent EAS Initiatives led by Australia


  • 2020 EAS Workshop on Cyber Capacity Building held via videoconference (co-hosted with Singapore)
  • 2018 EAS International Disaster Assistance Workshop in Perth (co-hosted with Indonesia)



  • 2020 EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation in Chennai (co-chaired with India and Indonesia)
  • 2019 EAS Seminar on Maritime Security and International Law in Kuala Lumpur (co-hosted with Malaysia)
  • 2017 EAS Non-Proliferation Seminar in Melbourne (co-hosted with Thailand)
  • 2016 EAS Maritime Security Cooperation Seminar in Sydney (co-hosted with Indonesia)
  • 2015 EAS Search and Rescue Lessons Learned Seminar in Sydney (co-hosted with Thailand)

Key Australian Officials

  • Australia's EAS Senior Official: Justin Hayhurst
  • Australia's EAS Senior Economic Official: Elizabeth Bowes
  • Australia's Ambassador to ASEAN:  Will Nankervis
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