East Asia Summit (EAS)

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 55 per cent of global GDP [IMF purchasing power parity GDP figures 2014]; EAS countries received more than 77 per cent of Australia's total exports and two-way trade with EAS countries was worth $460.9 billion in 2014-2015. 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 Prime Minister attended the 11th EAS, held on 8 September 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The Summit was a valuable opportunity for leaders to engage on key political, security and economic issues. EAS leaders discussed terrorism and violent extremism, the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, irregular migration and human trafficking, and regional trade agreements.   

EAS leaders adopted an EAS Statement on Non-Proliferation (proposed by Australia and co-sponsored by Myanmar); a Statement on Migrants in Crisis and Trafficking in Persons (proposed by the US and co-sponsored by Myanmar and the Philippines); and the Vientiane Declaration on Infrastructure Development Cooperation in East Asia (proposed by Laos and co-sponsored by China). Leaders also welcomed the implementation of the measures agreed in the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration to strengthen the EAS as an institution.

Earlier in 2016, the Foreign Minister attended the 6th EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 26 July. Foreign Ministers discussed pressing strategic challenges facing the region, including tensions over the disputed South China Sea, countering violent extremism, the Korean Peninsula and maritime cooperation.

The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment attended the 4th EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting on 5 August in Vientiane. It was an opportunity to discuss the regional economic integration agenda, including structural barriers and regulatory challenges facing the region’s economic policymakers.

East Asia Summit documents 2016

East Asia Summit documents 2015

East Asia Summit documents 2014

Last Updated: 21 October 2016