We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, gathered in Manila, Philippines on 14 November 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation.
We reaffirmed our commitment to deepen and broaden the APT process, as guided by, inter alia, the 1999 Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and the 2007 Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation.
We reaffirmed the important role of the APT for peace, security and prosperity in the East Asian region.
We reaffirmed our continued support for the central role of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture and stressed our shared view that the APT would continue to support the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 to pave the way towards deeper regional integration in East Asia.
We expressed satisfaction with the significant progress and achievements of the APT over the past twenty years, including the deepening of cooperation in all areas, in particular political-security, economy, finance, food security, agriculture, energy, environment and biodiversity conservation, health and pandemic diseases, culture, tourism, science, technology and innovation, information and communication technology, poverty eradication, disaster management, youth and education as well as on connectivity.
We noted the progress made in the follow-up to the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) II selected recommendations to promote APT cooperation, including the vision to realise an East Asia Economic Community (EAEC) by 2020.
We welcomed the adoption of the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2018-2022) as the principal guide to enhance APT cooperation in the next five years.
DO HEREBY DECLARE on the 20th anniversary of APT cooperation to:
- Further strengthen and deepen the APT cooperation process as the main vehicle towards achieving the long-term goal of building an East Asian community;
- Deepen and strengthen political and security dialogue and cooperation, including through high-level visits, dialogues and consultations, strengthening of the existing APT mechanisms, and active participation at the relevant ASEAN- led mechanisms with a view to ensuring regional peace, security and stability;
- Strengthen dialogue and cooperation by utilising ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the framework of APT Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC+3) Consultation, in addressing common security issues such as terrorism and violent extremism, transnational crimes and threats, and cyber security, as well as enhance maritime cooperation;
- Strengthen regional financial cooperation under the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM+3) by further strengthening the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) as an essential part of the regional financial safety net, fostering the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI), and supporting the enhancement of the surveillance and organisational capacity of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO);
- Promote regional economic integration, including through the implementation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), as well as the ACFTA Upgrading Protocol, the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP), the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area (AKFTA) and the swift conclusion of a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement;
- Strengthen cooperation in trade-related capacity building; labour and migrant workers; civil service; youth empowerment; agriculture, fisheries, food security and forestry; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); creating conducive environments for start-ups; energy security; climate change adaptation and mitigation; disaster management; sustainable water resource management; biodiversity conservation; combating illegal wildlife trade; pandemic diseases and universal health coverage, including through comprehensive and combined efforts for active ageing; and development of related healthcare industries;
- Continue to support the effective implementation of the Agreement on ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) and the strengthening of ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS);
- Support ASEAN’s efforts to narrow the development gap and promote regional integration among its member states through the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan III;
- Continue cooperation on ASEAN’s connectivity agenda in the five strategic areas of: (i) sustainable infrastructure; (ii) digital innovation; (iii) seamless logistics; (iv) regulatory excellence and; (v) people mobility with the Plus Three countries with a view to supporting the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity;
- Underline the complementarity between the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to uplift the living standards of our people, leaving no one behind;
- Further strengthen engagement between the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) and the Ambassadors to ASEAN of the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea in Jakarta to discuss the implementation of Leaders’ decisions as well as exchange views and information on regional and international issues;
- Continue the efforts and work carried out by the CPR Plus Three, sectoral bodies and relevant stakeholders in the implementation of selected recommendations of the EAVG II;
- Continue the efforts and work carried out by the ASEAN Plus Three Cultural Cooperation Network (APTCCN) and cooperate in safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage and achievements through relevant skills-sharing activities and exchanges while optimising appropriate use of tangible and intangible cultural assets for economic growth and poverty alleviation, enhance the city level dialogue and collaboration between East Asian Cultural Cities and the ASEAN City of Culture, where appropriate;
- Strengthen the capacities of the ASEAN Secretariat to enhance coordination and present recommendations on areas of cooperation which require further attention;
- Maximise the potentials of the ASEAN-Japan Centre, the ASEAN-Korea Centre and the ASEAN-China Centre in promoting trade, investment, tourism, education and people-to-people and cultural exchanges between ASEAN and the individual Plus Three countries;
- Encourage the ASEAN Secretariat and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat to work together in further promoting ASEAN Plus Three cooperation;
- Encourage cooperation between the ASEAN+1 Business Councils, and the East Asia Business Council to explore areas of mutual interest with a view to promoting deeper regional integration and further enhance the work and initiatives of APT cooperation;
- Enhance the role of Track 1.5 and Track 2 mechanisms, such as the East Asia Forum (EAF) and the Network of East Asian Think Tanks (NEAT), as supplementary source of inputs for policy formulation that is based on research and inter-sectoral consultations, and consider their recommendations, inter alia, possible approaches towards the realisation of an EAEC, as proposed by the EAVG II, in consultation with relevant sectoral bodies; and
- Continue strengthening the APT Cooperation Fund (APTCF) to support the implementation of projects and activities under the APT Cooperation Work Plan.