The East Asia Forum (EAF)

The 9th East Asia Forum in Chengdu (September 15-17, 2011)

The 9th East Asia Forum (EAF) was held on September 15-17, 2011 in Chengdu, China, which was attended by 73 participants in total from ASEAN+3 countries, including Mr. LIU Zhenmin, Assistant Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Among them, there were 5 participants from Japan: Mr. ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Deputy Director-General of Asian Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. HIRABAYASHI Hiroshi, Executive Vice President of CEAC and Vice President of JFIR, Mr. TADA Yukio, President and CEO of Sojitz Research Institute, Mr. SASATANI Yoshifumi, Deputy Director of Regional Policy Division of Asian Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. KIKUCHI Yona, Acting Executive Secretary of CEAC and Research Fellow of JFIR.

It was held under the main theme of "Accelerating Regional Integration: Internal Growth Engine of East Asia," which was composed of the Opening Ceremony, the Plenary Session, and the Concurrent Group Discussions.

In the Opening Ceremony, a keynote speech was given by Mr. Abdulahat Abdulrixit, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, followed by the speeches by the representatives of Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Indonesia. Mr. ISHIKANE Kimihiro representing Japan mentioned that the multi-layered regional frameworks as the EAS and the Japan-China-Korea Summit would play important roles to achieve regional integration. In the Plenary Session, the representatives of Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand reported their views and suggestions on regional integration of East Asia.

The First Session of the Concurrent Group Discussions was held under the theme of "Greater Regional Market," which was chaired by Amb. HIRABAYASHI Hiroshi. In this Session, a consensus was achieved on the necessity to promote a regional market such as CEPEA or EAFTA on the basis of "Asia-ness." The participants confirmed that an active cooperation in connectivity, logistics, finance, macro-economy and statistics is highly required in order to expand the regional market.

The Second Session was held under the theme of "Regional Connectivity of Infrastructure," chaired by Prof. SHIN Yoon-hwan, Professor of Sogang University of Korea. In this Session, all the participants agreed on the importance of strengthening the connectivity. Moreover, it was suggested that soft infrastructures including regulations, institutions and customs as well as basic infrastructures such as roads, trains, flights and sea lanes are important for regional integration.

The Third Session was held under the theme of "Regional Industrial Match-making and Transfer," chaired by Mr. George LANTU, Councellor of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. In this Session, the participants agreed that countries need to develop local businesses as well as make the best use of networks such as EAF in order to accelerate investment and technology transfer. It was concluded that business development can be realized through standardized technology, measures of technology transfer, secure market systems, active participation of small enterprises, and cooperation of mass media.

In the resumed Plenary Session, moderators of the three Discussions summarized the outcomes of each meeting. It was emphasized that East Asia should further promote regional cooperation in infrastructure and business. At the end of the Forum, congratulatory speeches were delivered by the associates including Mr. LIU Zhenmin.