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, Burma, 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  77 per cent of Australia's total exports and two-way trade with EAS countries was worth $440 billion in 2013-2014. 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 Foreign Minister attended the 4th EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held in Nay Pyi Taw, Burma on 10 August. Foreign Ministers discussed regional and global political and security developments, including maritime security in the South China Sea and the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. They also welcomed practical cooperation to address a range of traditional and non-traditional security issues, and to deepen regional trade and economic integration.

The Prime Minister attended the 9th EAS, held in Nay Pyi Taw, Burma on 13 November 2014. The Summit provided a valuable opportunity for leaders to engage on key strategy, political, security and economic issues. EAS leaders discussed terrorism and extremism, the Korean Peninsula, maritime security and the management of disputes in the South China Sea, the spread of Ebola, and global economic growth. 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 issued the EAS Statement on Rapid Disaster Response (proposed by Australia and the Philippines), Joint Statement on Regional Responses to the Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, EAS Statement on the Rise of Violence and Brutality Committed by Terrorist/Extremist Organisations in Iraq and Syria, and the EAS Declaration on Combatting Wildlife Trafficking. EAS leaders also welcomed a common goal of an ‘Asia Pacific free of malaria by 2030’ under the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance, co-chaired by Australian Prime Minister Abbott and Vietnamese Prime Minister Dung.

East Asia Summit documents

Previous East Asia Summit documents