Backgrounder: ASEAN+3 cooperation mechanism

Updated: 2013-10-08 16:32

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Leaders from Southeast Asian countries, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will meet here Wednesday at the 16th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Plus Three and related summits.

The ASEAN plus China, Japan, ROK cooperation mechanism incorporates the ASEAN+3 as well as the ASEAN+1 framework. The latter stands for ASEAN's respective cooperation mechanism with China, Japan and the ROK.

The two frameworks were established in the late 1990s, when ASEAN countries decided to enhance cooperation with other major economies of Asia against the backdrop of economic globalization.

The first ASEAN Plus Three summit was held in Malaysia in December 1997, a very important time when all countries in the region were facing an economic setback. The financial crisis was regarded as having provided the impetus for this summit.

The two frameworks, initially focused on economic cooperation, have expanded in recent years to the fields of politics, security and culture. Nowadays, they have developed into mechanisms of great significance in strengthening and deepening East Asia cooperation at various levels and in various areas, particularly in economic, social and political areas.

A total of 66 dialogue mechanisms at various levels have been established in 24 fields within the framework of ASEAN+3, covering diplomacy, economy, finance, agriculture, labor, tourism, environment, the fight against cross-border crime, health care, energy, telecommunications, social welfare and administration innovation.

Within the framework of ASEAN+1, great emphasis has been put on cooperation in the sectors of agriculture and the information and communication industry, human resources development, mutual investment and the development of the Mekong River Basin.

State leaders, ministers and other high-ranking officials from 10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan and the ROK meet annually to discuss cooperation and major international and regional issues.

Apart from the above-mentioned three countries, the ASEAN also has carried out ASEAN+1 dialogue with some countries from outside of the region on an aperiodic basis. On Thursday, the first ASEAN- United States Summit and the 11th ASEAN-India Summit will also be held here.

Established in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.



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