6th East Asia Summit and 15th India-ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting held in Singapore

Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu attended the 6th East Asia Summit- Economic Ministers’ Meeting (EAS-EMM) and 15th India-ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) in Singapore today. Singapore is currently holding the Chair of ASEAN.

The 6th East-Asia Economic Ministers’  Meeting was chaired by Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore, and was attended by Economic Ministers from  10  ASEAN countries  and their eight  dialogue partners,  Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.  The Ministers welcomed the higher global economic growth forecast for  2018  and took note of the increasing importance of trade and investment relations among the EAS economies.  Acknowledging the potential for disruptions in the macro-economy that could affect overall market sentiments and global growth, the EAS-EMM forum expressed the hope that the economic linkages among the EAS members will enable them to address these challenges.

Outcomes of the meeting:

The 6th East-Asia Economic Ministers’ Meeting was attended by Economic Ministers from 10  ASEAN countries and their eight dialogue partners,  Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.

Acknowledging the potential for disruptions in the macro-economy that could affect overall market sentiments and global growth, the EAS-EMM forum expressed the hope that the economic linkages among the EAS members will enable them to address these challenges.

The Ministers agreed to the importance of keeping markets open and fair as well as improving transparency and predictability of the business environment.

The meeting recognized the importance of ongoing work to maximize the opportunities of and address the challenges presented by, the digital economy and the rise of regional and global value chains, as part of their efforts to promote economic growth and integration in the region.

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a forum held annually by leaders of, initially, 16 countries in the East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian regions. Membership expanded to 18 countries including the United States and Russia at the Sixth EAS in 2011.

EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings. The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14 December 2005.

EAS is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.

EAS has evolved as a forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern and plays an important role in the regional architecture.

There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS. These are – Environment and Energy, Education, Finance, Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases, Natural Disaster Management, and ASEAN Connectivity. India endorses regional collaboration in all six priority areas.

The concept of an East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by the then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad. The final report of the East Asian Study Group in 2002, established by the ASEAN+3 countries (i.e. China, Japan, and ROK), recommended EAS as an ASEAN led development limited to the ASEAN +3 countries.

However, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) held in Vientiane on July 26, 2005, welcomed the participation of ASEAN, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, India, and New Zealand, in the first EAS. The USA and the Russian Federation were formally included as members of the EAS at the 6th EAS held in Bali, Indonesia on 19 November 2011.

EAS, representing nearly 50% of the world’s population and over 20% of global trade, is a mega-gathering and is a testimony to the rise of Asia and how rapidly the world’s politico-economic equations are shifting.

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