Chairman’s Statement of the 17th ASEAN Plus Three Summit

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar  13 November 2014

The 17th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, chaired by the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, H.E. U Thein Sein, was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 13 November 2014. The Summit was attended by the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

We expressed satisfaction with the progress on the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Cooperation Work Plan (2013-2017) and looked forward to its timely and effective implementation.

We underscored the importance of further intensifying and expanding the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Cooperation for enhanced peace, security and prosperity in the East Asia region to achieve the goal of realising the ASEAN Community by 2015.

We reiterated that ASEAN Plus Three cooperation would remain as a main vehicle in moving forward to realise its long-term goal of an East Asia community with ASEAN as the driving force in the evolving regional architecture. We acknowledged the effective role of other ASEAN-led mechanisms in regional architecture such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Meetings with China, Japan and ROK.

The ASEAN Leaders encouraged the Plus Three countries to continue their support for the timely implementation of the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community (2009-2015) and their support for the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision. The ASEAN Leaders also encouraged the Plus Three countries to continue support the 2011 Bali Declaration on ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations (Bali Concord Ⅲ).

We expressed the importance of APT cooperation in maintaining and enhancing regional peace, stability and growth in the East Asia regional architecture. To this light, we shared the view to intensify the mid to long-term APT cooperation in all areas of political, economic and socio-cultural sectors to facilitate further development in the East Asia region.

We emphasized that political and security cooperation was the key to strengthening peace and stability in the East Asia region. In this regard, we renewed our commitment to deepen cooperation to address the emerging challenges of both traditional and non-traditional security matters including cyber security, maritime security, terrorism, extremism, narcotic drugs, trafficking in persons, arms smuggling, and disaster management. We also underscored the need to promote common values and norms, such as good governance, rule of law , as well as the promotion and protection of human rights, including the rights of women, children and migrant workers through policy dialogue and capacity building activities.

We welcomed the sustainable growth of APT economic ties even though uncertainties in the global economy remained. Total trade between ASEAN and the Plus Three Countries in 2013 increased by 1.8% year-on-year which amounted to US$726.4 billion and which accounted for 28.9% of ASEAN’s total trade. In 2013, total foreign direct investment (FDI) flows from the Plus Three countries into ASEAN reached US$35.1 billion, accounting for 28.7% of total FDI, these represented a 13.6% increase year-on-year. We remained committed to sustaining this momentum.

We reiterated our strong commitment to the development of SMEs in the region as a primary driving force for regional economic growth. To this light, we encouraged the business community to seize all feasible opportunities in order to gain the benefits from economic cooperation. We encouraged the boosting of existing ASEAN Plus One Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to promote greater economic integration in the region. We therefore welcomed the launching of negotiations for upgrading the ASEAN-China FTA.

We welcomed the productive negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and looked forward to its successful and timely conclusion by the end of 2015. We expressed our belief that the RCEP would contribute significantly to economic integration and equitable economic development. We reiterated our commitment to ASEAN Centrality in the RCEP process.

We recalled the successful outcomes of the 17th ASEAN Plus Three Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (AFMGM+3) held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 3 May 2014. We welcomed the achievements of the APT Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting (AFCDM +3) held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar from 2 to 3 May 2014. We also welcomed the signing of the ASEAN Plus Three Macro Research Office Agreement on 10 October 2014, which would transform it into an international organisation. We looked forward to the early ratification of the AMRO Agreement by APT countries. We shared the view that we should promote cooperation in enhancing the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) and the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI).

We recognised the need to balance energy security with economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability. In this regard, we acknowledged the steady progress of stakeholders’ cooperation on study, best practices sharing and policy works relating to energy security in the region. We stressed the increasing need to further explore new energy cooperation areas such as the use of clean and environmentally-friendly technologies. We further welcomed the outcomes of the 11th APT Ministers on Energy Meeting held in Lao PDR on 23 September 2014.

We recognised the importance of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) to serve as one of the main mechanisms for enhancing regional food security. We appreciated the prompt initiative of the APTERR in responding to the needs of victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the floods in Lao PDR. As a way of improving efficiency of APTERR, we took note of the need to consider alternative foods in addition to rice. We agreed to continue to share technology and seek feasible ways to further strengthen the functions of APTERR and ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS). To this light, we welcomed the outcomes of the 14th Meeting of the APT Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF+3) held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 24 September 2014.

Acknowledging the impacts of the climate change, we recognised the need to further enhance our cooperation to promote environmental conservation and sustainable development. In this connection, the Plus Three countries noted the ASEAN Environment Ministers’ Statement to the 12th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-12) held in Pyeongchang, ROK, from 6 to 17 October 2014, which expressed ASEAN’s common understanding and commitment to actively take part in biodiversity conservation under CBD. We also looked forward to the 7th World Water Forum to be held in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, ROK, from 12 to 17 April 2015 which will serve as a platform for strengthening international cooperation on tackling water challenges. We welcomed the 13th ASEAN Plus Three Environment Ministers’ Meeting held in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on 31 October 2014.

The Plus Three countries welcomed the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change 2014 adopted at the 25th ASEAN Summit. The Statement articulated ASEAN’s common position on the ongoing negotiations towards a global climate change agreement under the UNFCCC framework that is applicable to all parties.

With regard to socio-cultural and development cooperation, we recognised the importance of strengthening the APT Cultural Cooperation Network (APTCCN), the East Asia Forum (EAF), the Network of East Asian Think Tanks (NEAT) and the Network of East Asian Studies (NEAS). To this light, we endorsed NEAT Memorandum No.11 adopted at the 21st NEAT Country Coordinators’ Meeting (NEAT CCM) and the 12th NEAT Annual Conference in Phnom Phenh from 28 to 30 September 2014. We noted the 3rd Meeting of the APTCCN in Singapore, from 26 to 29 August 2014 and looked forward to the holding of the 12th EAF in Bandar Seri Begawan from 25 to 27 November 2014.

We welcomed the 2nd APT Education Ministers’ Meeting (APTEMM) held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 12 September 2014. We also highlighted the importance of creating a strong network between universities in the East Asia region through the ASEAN+3 University Network and welcomed the successful 2nd ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from 6 to 7 November 2014. We noted the progress of implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three plan of Action on Education (2010-2017) in strengthening education cooperation and human resource development in the East Asia region. We also reaffirmed the need to promote mobility of higher education and ensuring quality assurance in higher education amongst the ASEAN Plus Three countries.

We were committed to strengthening cooperation in the area of health, particularly to address the threats of disease outbreaks in the East Asia region. We agreed to focus on health cooperation in areas such as emerging infectious diseases, pandemic preparedness and response and traditional medicines in line with the ASEAN Strategic Framework on Health Development (2010-2015). We also expressed our commitment to cooperate to reduce the burden of non­communicable diseases, work towards the achievement of universal health coverage and ensuring healthy and active aging. In this regard, we welcomed Thailand’s proposal to host a special ASEAN+3 Health Ministers’ Meeting on Ebola Preparedness and Response in Bangkok, Thailand, December 2014.

We noted the progress of ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Cooperation Work Plan through the implementation of media farm tour programme and convening of Nara Tourism Statistics Week. We also noted the outcomes of the 13th APT Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held and the 24th APT National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) Meeting held in Kuching, Malaysia, on 18 and 20 January 2014, respectively and the 25th NTOs Meeting held in Kuching, Malaysia, on 17 May 2014. To enhance cooperation in the Tourism Sector among the APT countries, we looked forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Cooperation in Myanmar in 2015.

We noted the holding of the 2nd APT Heads of Civil Service Meeting and the 2nd ACCSM+3 Joint Technical Working Group Meeting held in Myanmar on 26 September 2014. We took note of the progress achieved under the ACCSM+3 Work Plan (2012 2015). We were pleased to share information on national strategies and good practices in promoting good governance towards fulfilling people’s aspiration and welfare. We agreed to respond to the current and emerging challenges and opportunities for the civil service sector in ASEAN Community building. We expressed continued support to the ASEAN Resource Centre (ARC) which provides training programmes for civil servants and in order to uphold the responsiveness, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency of the public service sector.

We realised the important role of the information sector to raise ASEAN awareness and better understanding among the people. We encouraged the effective implementation of the Work Plan on Enhancing ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation through Information and Media (2012-2017). To this light, we weleomed the 3rd APT Ministers’ Meeting Responsible for Information (AMRI+3) held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 12 June 2014.

We welcomed the outcomes of the 8th APT Labour Ministers’ Meeting held in Myanmar, on 23 May 2014 and the 6th APT Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts Meeting held in Hue City, Viet Nam, on 20 April 2014.

We encouraged the Plus Three countries to continue their support for the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) and the 2012 Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Plus Three Partnership on Connectivity in order to enhance regional connectivity. We also attached importance to the support and cooperation from external parties and the private sector in the implementation of MPAC.

We recognised the efforts of the East Asia Vision Group II (EAVG II) in stock-taking and evaluating APT cooperation over the past 15 years to further contribute to the strengthening and deepening of the APT process. To this light, we looked forward to the submission of the final report to the Follow­ Up to the EAVG Il Report at the 18th APT Summit in 2015.

We underscored the importance of strengthening international cooperation in disaster risk reduction. In this regard, we welcomed collaboration to achieve successful outcomes at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, to be held in Sendai, Japan, from 14 to 18 March 2015.

We underscored the importance of strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation to strengthen competitiveness and increase connectivity in the East Asia region. In this regard, we welcomed the Japan­-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science and China’s initiative to host the APT Exchange Programme for Young Scientists, to further promote the exchange of young people from ASEAN and the Plus Three countries in the field of science and technology.

We took note of the importance of the ASEAN-China Centre, ASEAN-Japan Centre and ASEAN-ROK Centre in promoting trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people contacts. ·We further urged the full utilisation of the Centres to promote trade and investment in the larger context of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.

We welcomed the establishment of the East Asian Cultural Cities in Plus Three countries in 2014 in order to enhance people-to-people contacts in the region and looked forward to participate in the 14th Asian Art Festival in Quanzhou, Fujian province in China, in 2015.

We looked forward to the successful convening of the G20 Summit to be held in Brisbane, Australia from 15 to 16 November 2014. We reiterated our support for the Chairman of ASEAN to participate in the G20 Summits on a regular basis.

We underscored the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Korean peninsula. We reaffirmed our support for all effort on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and encouraged the creation of necessary conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. We expressed support for a full compliance to the obligations guided by all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions and commitments under the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. We also emphasised the importance of addressing humanitarian concerns of the international community. We welcomed the reunion of separated family between the ROK and the DPRK that took place in February and expressed hope for more frequent and larger scale family reunions in future. We welcomed the Trust-building Process on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation lnitiative proposed by the President of the Republic of Korea. We also noted the recent talks between Japan and DPRK of addressing human right and humanitarian concerns of the international community including the abduction issue.