Australian Mission to ASEAN

East Asia Summit

East Asia Summit

The East Asia Summit (EAS) sits at the apex of the ASEAN-centred regional architecture and 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.

The EAS has 18 members – the ten ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) along with Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States. ASEAN leads the forum, and the chair rotates annually among ASEAN member states.

In 2020, EAS members represented 54 per cent of the world's population and accounted for 62 per cent of global GDP worth an estimated US$52.3 trillion. In 2020, Australia's two-way trade with EAS countries was worth A$570.0 billion, 71.4 per cent of Australia's total two-way trade.

EAS Meetings and Processes

The EAS is an annual Leaders' Summit usually held in October or November. In addition to their discussions, leaders issue statements on topical issues to signal political will for framing policy responses and to provide a basis for cooperation.

Along with the Leaders' Summit, each year there is an EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and an EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting. These also serve as platforms for frank discussion of political, regional security and economic issues and prepare for the Leaders' Summit, including by developing new ideas on statements for leaders' consideration. There are also regular meetings of EAS participating countries’ ministers of Energy (held annually), Environment and Education (each held biennially).

Senior Officials of EAS participating countries meet throughout the year to prepare for meetings of leaders and ministers, and to engage in frank exchanges of views on political, regional security, economic and other issues.

Additional support for the EAS is provided through the EAS Ambassadors' Meeting in Jakarta, who meet regularly to discuss emerging issues, prepare for EAS meetings, and take forward decisions of 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

East Asia Summit

The 16th EAS was held on 27 October 2021, chaired by Brunei Darussalam via videoconference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). EAS leaders discussed key regional issues including safe, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, health security, the South China Sea, the situations in Myanmar and Hong Kong, the Korean Peninsula, climate change, cybersecurity and countering violent extremism.

EAS leaders adopted three statements in 2021: Sustainable Recovery; Economic Growth Through Tourism Recovery; and Mental Health Cooperation.

Australia co-hosted an EAS workshop on mental health with Brunei Darussalam in November 2021, to implement the aims of the leaders’ statement on Mental Health Cooperation. The workshop convened policymakers, practitioners and mental experts from across EAS participating countries to exchange best practices and national experiences on mental health policy making and policy implementation.

In February 2022, Singapore, India and Australia co-hosted the EAS Workshop on Combatting Marine Pollution implementing, among others, the 2020 EAS Leaders' Statement on Marine Sustainability.

The 17th EAS will be chaired by Cambodia in November 2022.

EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2021

The 10th EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held on 4 August 2021 via videoconference, chaired by Brunei Darussalam. Foreign Ministers discussed strategic challenges facing the region, including safe, equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines; the situation in Myanmar; maritime security and the South China Sea; the Korean Peninsula; counter-terrorism; disinformation; and climate change.

The 11th EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be chaired by Cambodia in August 2022.

EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting 2021

The 9th EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting was held on 15 September 2021 via videoconference, chaired by Brunei Darussalam. EAS Economic Ministers agreed to prioritise economic recovery and building resilience post-COVID-19 by: facilitating trade, investment, and secure and resilient supply chains; supportive fiscal policy; strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a predictable business environment. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the rules-based multilateral trading system centred on the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The 10th EAS Economic Ministers' Meeting will be chaired by Cambodia in September 2022.

East Asia Summit documents 2021

East Asia Summit documents 2020

East Asia Summit documents 2019