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East Asia Summit (EAS)

EAS Factsheet

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.

Membership

The EAS comprises 18 members: the 10 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.

In 2021, EAS members represented 53.1 per cent of the world's population and accounted for 59.5 per cent of global GDP. It includes nine of Australia's top ten trading partners. In 2020-21, Australia's two-way trade with EAS countries was worth A$601.4 billion, 72.6 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, in alphabetical order. The chair sets EAS priorities for the year, in consultation with EAS participating countries, and hosts most EAS meetings.
  • Current chair: 2022 Cambodia
  • Past chairs: 2021 Brunei, 2020 Vietnam, 2019 Thailand
  • Future chairs: 2023 Indonesia, 2024 Laos

Key EAS Meetings in 2022

  • July: EAS Senior Officials' Meetings
  • August: EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  • September: EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting
  • November: EAS Leaders' Summit

Key Australian Officials

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

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
  • 2021: Australia’s relationship with ASEAN elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

Recent EAS Initiatives led by Australia

Statements

  • 2021 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Mental Health Cooperation (co-sponsored by Brunei Darussalam)
  • 2019 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Crime (co-sponsored by Thailand, Myanmar, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand)
  • 2018 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Deepening Cooperation in the Security of Information and
  • Communications Technologies and of the Digital Economy (co-sponsored by Singapore)
  • 2017 EAS Leaders' Statement on Anti-money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (co-sponsored by Indonesia and Myanmar).

Workshops and Seminars

  • 2021 EAS Workshop on Mental Health Cooperation held via videoconference (co-hosted with Brunei Darussalam)
  • 2020 EAS Workshop on Cyber Capacity Building held via videoconference (co-hosted with Singapore)
  • 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)
  • 2018 EAS International Disaster Assistance Workshop in Perth (co-hosted with Indonesia)
  • 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)
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