The East Asia Forum (EAF)

The 6th East Asia Forum in Luang Prabang, Laos. (October 15- 16, 2008)

The 6th East Asian Forum (EAF) was held on October 15- 16, 2008 in Luang Prabang, Laos. In total 67 participants joined the Forum from ASEAN+3 countries, including H.E. Mr. Soulivong Dalavong, Minister of Planning and Investment of Lao PDR and Dr. SOEUNG Rathchavy, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN. Among them, there were 5 participants from Japan, including Mr. KOHNO Masaharu, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Professor SHINDO Eiichi, Professor Emeritus of University of Tsukuba and Vice President of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC), Mr. MURAKAMI Masayasu, Executive Director of Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR) and Executive Vice President of CEAC.

The Forum was held under the main theme of “Towards East Asia Community: Turning Challenges through Greater Cooperation and Collaboration into Opportunities.” There were two Sessions on October 16, one in the morning followed by another in the afternoon.

In the Session I, on the theme of “Greater Cooperation and Collaboration to Address Energy and Food Security,” three keynote speakers, including Professor SHINDO Eiichi, made their presentations respectively, which were followed by comments from Mr. Erywan Pehin YUSOF, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei, and other three discussants. During the discussions, it was pointed out that concrete measures for regional cooperation, such as East Asian Rice Reserve System and Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipelines, need to be promoted because the rise of oil price and food price might cause political instability as well as damage economic development.

The Session II, the theme of which was “Narrowing Development Gap: Accelerating Regional Integration and Bringing Strategic Benefits to Our Region,” started with keynote speeches by four speakers, including Mr. Maung MYINT, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar. Subsequently, four discussants including Mr. QIN Yaqing, Vice President of China Foreign Affairs University, made their comments. It was pointed out that Initiatives for ASEAN Integration should be strongly promoted for narrowing the development gap and that a framework to utilize saving surplus in the region for infrastructure investment should be built.

At the end of the Form, the representative from Korea stated that Korea would host the 7th EAF in Soul next year and prepare a new proposal to strengthen the organization of EAF.