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 the full range of 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, the United States and Russia. This represents 54 per cent of the world's population and accounts for around 58 per cent of global GDP worth an estimated US$49.4 trillion. In 2017-18, Australia's two-way trade with EAS countries was worth around A$564 billion, 71 per cent of Australia's total two-way trade.

EAS Meetings and Processes

The centrepiece of the EAS calendar is the annual Leaders' Summit, usually held alongside ASEAN Leaders' meetings in the fourth quarter every year.

The EAS Summit is supported through the annual EAS Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) and EAS Senior Officials' Meetings (SOM), which meet throughout the year to take forward leaders' initiatives.

The EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting (EMM) has been held annually since 2014. The EMM provides an opportunity for Ministers to discuss economic opportunities and challenges in the region, and is an important complement to the strategic discussions of the Leaders' Summit.

Meetings of the EAS Environment, Energy, and Education Ministers are also held annually.

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 13th EAS was held on 15 November 2018 in Singapore. EAS leaders discussed key regional issues including the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, the situation in Rakhine State, counter-terrorism, regional economic integration, maritime cooperation, and connectivity.

EAS leaders adopted five statements in 2018: on ICT Security and the Digital Economy (proposed by Australia and Singapore); Nuclear Security (proposed by the US, Republic of Korea and Thailand); Foreign Terrorist Fighters (proposed by Russia); Combatting Marine Plastic Debris (proposed by Indonesia and New Zealand); and Smart Cities (proposed by Singapore, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea). Leaders also welcomed progress made on measures agreed in the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative and the adoption of the Manila Plan of Action.

The 8th EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held on 4 August 2018 in Singapore.  Foreign Ministers discussed strategic challenges facing the region, including: the South China Sea; countering violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism; the Korean Peninsula; and Rakhine State. They also discussed cyber security and maritime cooperation.

The 6th EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting was held on 1 September 2018 in Singapore. Ministers discussed the global economic outlook and regional economic integration agenda, and exchanged views on the digital economy and global value chains. 

East Asia Summit documents 2018

East Asia Summit documents 2017

East Asia Summit documents 2016

Last Updated: 1 July 2019