1. The 22nd ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit was held on 4 November 2019 in Bangkok. The Meeting was chaired by His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and attended by all Heads of State/ Government of ASEAN Member States, the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Secretaries-General of ASEAN and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat were also in attendance.

Review and Future Direction of APT Cooperation

2. We noted with satisfaction the substantive progress in APT cooperation and reiterated our commitment to further strengthening and deepening the APT functional cooperation under the APT process. We underscored the importance of the APT in East Asia cooperation towards the long-term goal of building an East Asia community, with ASEAN as the driving force.

3. We reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture and ASEAN-led frameworks, including the APT. We recognised the mutually reinforcing and complementary nature of the APT with other ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus). We also shared the view that in order to achieve deeper regional integration in Asia, the APT’s continuing support on the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and its Blueprints, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Initiative of ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III is crucial.

4. We were pleased to note the steady progress in the implementation of the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2018-2022). To maintain this positive momentum, we called for more projects and activities with concrete outcomes to further implement the action lines in APT cooperation over the next three years. In this regard, we noted the Second Progress Report on the Implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan (2018-2022). We also underscored the importance of the effective utilisation and prudent management of the APT Cooperation Fund to implement activities under the Work Plan.

5. We recalled the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) II report, including its recommendations to realise an East Asia Economic Community (EAEC), and we looked forward to the substantive progress of the implementation of projects and activities under the EAVG action plans.

6. We acknowledged the importance of the APT in maintaining and enhancing peace, security, stability and development in East Asia. We decided to strengthen dialogue and cooperation to address non-traditional security issues articulated in the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022, such as trafficking in persons, cybercrime, countering terrorism and violent extremism and illicit drug trafficking. We also looked forward to enhancing maritime cooperation including capacity development on the maritime industry.

7. We noted the global outlook in economic and trade performance and the recent moderation of growth. While noting that trade continues to expand between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries, we cautioned against rising trade tensions and its impact on growth and jobs. We reaffirmed strong commitment to upholding an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and noted the work being undertaken to reform the WTO and reiterated their full support to this endeavor. We also reaffirmed our support for enhanced regional economic integration. We welcomed that 15 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Participating Countries have concluded text-based negotiations to create a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial RCEP Agreement and would work together on outstanding issues with a view to signing the agreement in 2020. We acknowledged the importance of promoting sustainable development of micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) in light of uncertainties in the global economy.

8. We welcomed the strong trade and investment relations between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries. In 2018, trade between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries increased by 6.8 percent to USD 869.1 billion or 31.0 per cent of ASEAN’s total merchandise trade. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows from the Plus Three countries into ASEAN were valued at USD 37.9 billion in 2018, accounting for 24.5 per cent of total FDI inflows to ASEAN which increased by 9.9 percent from the previous year.

9. We commended the efforts of the ASEAN-China Centre, ASEAN-Japan Centre and ASEAN-Korea Centre to promote economic and socio-cultural exchanges between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries. We were pleased to note that the three Centres established regular consultations with their counterparts and called for the Centres to enhance linkages among themselves by exploring possible joint projects in areas of common interest.

10. We recognised the important role of the private sector in enhancing economic cooperation in East Asia. We noted the strong interest of members of the East Asia Business Council (EABC) on the progress of RCEP negotiations, and its recommendations for improving trade facilitation and supply chain connectivity in the region to ensure smooth implementation of the RCEP. We noted with appreciation the EABC’s work in organising activities to enhance the capacity of MSMEs, and in conducting studies on business awareness on new technologies and their markets. We reaffirmed their continuing support for future initiatives aimed at preparing MSMEs for the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

11. We acknowledged the Joint Ministerial Statement of the 16th APT Ministers on Energy Meeting on 5 September 2019 in Bangkok. We encouraged the enhancement of energy cooperation and market integration among APT countries towards achieving energy security, accessibility, affordability and sustainability for the region. We noted with satisfaction the continued cooperation among APT countries to develop capacities on renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation. We welcomed the commitment to deeper knowledge and information exchange through various initiatives such as the Cleaner Energy Future Initiative for ASEAN (CEFIA) to accelerate the development of cleaner energy in ASEAN region.

12. We also recognised the potential brought about by the ongoing digital revolution to improve the region’s competitiveness and the livelihood of its people, while underscoring the need to prepare for its associated risks and challenges. To this end, we called for greater APT cooperation to support the concrete application of technologies and smart solutions in our daily lives, such as through information and communications technology (ICT), e-commerce and development of smart cities. Following the establishment of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) last year, we welcomed the progress in the implementation of ASCN cities’ action plans and smart city projects. We looked forward to forging mutually beneficial partnerships between the Plus Three countries and the network.

13. Given that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the APT finance process, we commend the accomplishments made in fostering closer regional financial cooperation towards a more resilient, inclusive and integrated APT region. We welcomed the adoption of a vision document, “Strategic Directions of APT Finance Process,” which aims to explore new potential areas of common interest and complementarity towards the strategic directions of fostering regional economic growth and promoting integration, while continuing the work on current initiatives to maintain regional economic and financial stability from a longer-term perspective. We also welcomed the continued commitment of APT Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to strengthening the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), the Regional Financing Arrangement (RFA), as an effective and timely self-help mechanism, and a strong and reliable layer in the Global Financial Safety Net. We welcomed the approval of the amended CMIM Agreement and the endorsement of the General Guidance on Local Currency Contribution to the CMIM by the 22nd APT Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting. We looked forward to the early entry into force of the amended CMIM Agreement approved in May 2019. We welcomed the completion of the 10th CMIM Test Run using actual fund, encouraged the drafting of the CMIM Operational Guideline and Technical Guidance for the CMIM Conditionality Framework.

14. We are also pleased to note the continuous progress made by the APT Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) in enhancing its surveillance capacity, frameworks and other analytical tools. In particular, we commend AMRO’s efforts to stay at the forefront of macroeconomic trends and to assist with the early identification of risks and vulnerabilities. This has enabled AMRO to provide timely policy advice to members to mitigate the possible spillover effects. We noted with appreciation AMRO’s Policy Note, titled “ASEAN+3 Region: Sustaining Growth and Stability amid Mounting Global Uncertainty,” which has provided a helpful overview on recent macroeconomic developments and policy responses.

15. We acknowledged the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI)’s significant contributions in fostering the development of local currency bond markets and facilitating regional financial integration to mitigate currency and maturity mismatches and in mobilising the region’s savings to finance long-term investment across the region. We welcomed the endorsement of a new ABMI Mid-Term Road Map 2019-2022, highlighting future directions and major activities. We also support the timely work of the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF) to strengthen the financial resilience of ASEAN Member States against climate and disaster risks.

16. We commended contributions by the members to meet the Capital Increase Proposal (CIP) of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) and encourage timely completion of CIP according to schedule. We also commended the CGIF’s efforts in exploring the innovative proposal of Infrastructure Investors Partnership (IIP) to further promote local currency debt finance for infrastructure. We also encourage efforts to promote local currency-denominated green bonds to meet the region’s infrastructure needs in a sustainable manner.

17. We were pleased to note the progress in the implementation of the APT Cooperation Strategy on Food, Agriculture and Forestry (2016-2025), in which various activities have been carried out in the areas of food security, sustainable forest management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. We reaffirmed our commitment to continuously supporting the implementation of APT Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Agreement for meeting emergency requirements and humanitarian relief through the Protocol to amend the APTERR Agreement which extended annual contributions to the operational cost of APTERR for further a five-year period (2018-2022), that was signed on 12 October 2018 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
18. We noted with satisfaction the continued cooperation among APT countries in science and technology through various initiatives of the APT Centre for the Gifted in Science (ACGS), including the 10th APT Teacher Workshop for the Gifted in Science, the 12th ACGS Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting, and the 8th APT Junior Science Odyssey (APT JSO), as well as the APT Young Scientist Innovation Forum.

19. We were pleased with the significant progress, and looked forward to the support of APT countries to advance the implementation of MPAC 2025, which covers the strategies on Sustainable Infrastructure, Digital Innovation, Seamless Logistics, Regulatory Excellence, and People Mobility as well as to strengthen APT cooperation in enhancing regional connectivity. We stressed the importance of developing links and synergies between MPAC 2025 and key connectivity initiatives in the region, while reaffirming the need to promote sustainable, high quality infrastructure in line with broadly accepted international principles to facilitate trade, investment and service competitiveness in the region. In this regard, we adopted the APT Leaders’ Statement on Connecting the Connectivities Initiative.

20. We underscored that cultural exchanges are a key to promoting people-to-people ties in the region. In this regard, we looked forward to the effective implementation of the APT Work Plan on Cooperation in Culture and Arts (2019-2021) to further enhance inter-cultural exchanges and understanding. We also welcomed the establishment of the Network of APT Culture Cities and the Yangzhou Initiative on Building the Network of ASEAN Plus Three Culture Cities to promote city-level exchanges among the East Asian Cultural Cities and the ASEAN City of Culture. We are pleased to note the cultural events held in Viva ASEAN- ASEAN Cultural Roadshow: Oneness to the World’ performances in four different cities in the ROK in cooperation with the ASEAN Culture House of the Korea Foundation, as part of the celebrations of the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019. We also looked forward to the tour of ASEAN Cultural troupes and exhibitions in Japan and China to further bring ASEAN cultures to wider audiences.

21. We acknowledged the Joint Statement of the 8th APT Health Ministers Meeting on 30 August 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia with the theme “Accelerating Health for All in ASEAN.” Commitments made included priority areas of collaboration on capacity building on prevention, detection and response to public health threats; combating anti-microbial resistance; addressing non-communicable diseases and its risk factors; ending all forms of malnutrition; strengthening traditional and complementary medicine; ensuring food safety; promoting healthy and active ageing; and, achieving universal health coverage including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services, and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. We noted the multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaborative activities to be implemented in promoting healthy and active ageing and welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI) in Thailand. We also welcomed Japan’s expansion of the target areas under the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN). We underscored the need to strengthen cooperation in promoting active ageing in light of the ongoing development of the Regional Plan of Action to implement the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN, led by the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD).

22. We committed to advancing cooperation in promoting sustainable development, as well as in strengthening cooperation with all stakeholders, including the private sector, to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We noted the successful convening of the 16th APT Environment Ministers Meeting held on 9 October 2019 in Cambodia. In order to cover the finance needs to achieve the SDGs, we recognised that international public and private finance for development as well as other innovative financing mechanisms can play an important role. We noted the convening of the APT Youth Environment Forum (AYEF) on 8-13 September 2019 in Phuket, Thailand. We reaffirmed our support for empowering the youth and their communities in taking responsive and sustainable actions to address marine debris pollution.

23. We supported the finalisation of the ASEAN Action Plan developed with the World Health Organization (WHO) in combatting substandard and falsified medicines by strengthening national regulatory mechanisms; coordination and collaboration on the sustained implementation on the prevention, detection and response to eliminate substandard and falsified medicines within countries and across the region, among others; and, building and maintaining an efficient robust supply system which will contribute to ensuring that populations within the region especially in remote areas of ASEAN Member States (AMS) have access to safe, effective, affordable and quality medicines.

24. We called for development of collaborative projects to protect and conserve the environment and biodiversity, to promote sustainable use as well as the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the utilisation of natural resources, including water resource management, and to address the impact of climate change and the issue of marine plastic debris. We welcomed the progress of “APT Marine Plastic Debris Cooperative Action Initiative,” such as the establishment of Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris operated by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and capacity development for monitoring of the debris and combat measures, and looked forward to supporting the expeditious implementation of the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region, implementation of the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris and the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue. We appreciated the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050 and its implementation framework.

25. We reaffirmed our commitment to forging closer cooperation to alleviate poverty for sustainable development, to promote and to protect the human rights of vulnerable groups, and to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and looked forward to its implementation.

26. We reiterated the need to create an enabling environment and instruments for student mobility with quality assurance among the APT countries. In this regard, we looked forward to the continued implementation of the APT Guidelines on Transcripts and Supplemental Documents for Academic Records of Exchange Students, which was adopted by the APT Education Ministers in November 2018. We also noted the: (i) adoption of the APT Plan of Action on Education 2018-2025 by the APT Education Ministers and its subsequent implementation; and (ii) successful convening of the 7th Meeting of the Working Group on Student Mobility and Quality Assurance of Higher Education among APT Countries in September 2019 in Singapore.

27. We noted the successful convening of the 7th APT Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY+3) held on 19 July 2019 in Vientiane, with the theme “Enhancing the Role of Youth in ASEAN for Sustainable Development and Regional Integration”. We supported the commitment of ASEAN Youth Ministers to further strengthening APT collaborations on youth development to address the challenges of Industry 4.0, digitalisation and the evolving demand of the labour market and noted with satisfaction the contribution of youth empowerment activities and people-to-people exchange programmes among APT countries. We looked forward to the development of the Plan of Action for APT Cooperation on Youth in line with the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022.

28. We commended the continued cooperation among APT countries in areas of human resources development and social security. We supported the commitment of the 10th APT Labour Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM+3) held in November 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to promoting green jobs and green skills that will contribute towards environmentally and socially sustainable economy of the region. We also noted the ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Joint Statement on Green Initiative to the 108th International Labour Conference and encouraged the collaboration and sharing of information and experiences among the APT countries in order to prepare and protect the workforces and businesses in the context of technological advancement, demographic transition and rise of green economy.

29. We welcomed the progress of implementation of the APT Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM+3) Work Plan 2016-2020. We looked forward to the development of the ASEAN Guidelines on Public Service Delivery and the Baseline Study on Governance Systems among APT countries that are supported by the APT Cooperation Fund. We were pleased to note the convening of the ACCSM+3 Focal Points Meeting in June 2019 in Bangkok, which served as a platform for APT countries to jointly begin the preparation for the ACCSM+3 Work Plan 2021-2025 in the spirit of mutual interests.

30. The Leaders acknowledged the success of the 14th Annual Meeting of Deans and Directors of Diplomatic Training Institutions of ASEAN Plus Three, organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam in Ha Noi from 23-25 October 2019, during which the first joint training course was successfully conducted and it was decided that a joint database on curriculum and materials for diplomatic training will be further developed. The Leaders encouraged the APT Diplomatic Training institutions to continue strengthening their substantial cooperation and network through concrete projects and activities.

31. We noted the decision of the 7th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) in October 2019 in Myanmar on ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management’s (ACDM) engagement with ASEAN Dialogue Partners from China, Japan and the ROK to explore the possibility of establishing ASEAN Plus mechanisms on disaster management. We welcomed Japan’s agreement to establish the AMMDM Plus Japan cooperation and looked forward to the convening of the meeting of AMMDM Plus Japan in the future. We encouraged the enhancement of regional cooperation on disaster management and emergency response by promoting cooperation on policy coordination, information exchanges and conducting joint exercises to effectively promote disaster management and reduce disaster risks and losses in the region.

32. We acknowledged that the East Asia Forum (EAF) remains an important Track 1.5 level platform for governments, companies, academic institutions and think-tanks to further increase cooperation within East Asia. In this regard, we welcomed the convening of the 17th EAF, hosted by Japan on 10 – 12 July 2019 in Odawara, Japan, under the theme “Bolstering Free and Open Economy in East Asia,” and noted its outcomes. We also recognised the important contributions of the Network of East Asia Think-Tanks (NEAT) towards APT cooperation. We welcomed the outcomes of the 30th NEAT Country Coordinators Meeting (CCM) in May 2019, the 31st CCM and the 17th Annual Conference of NEAT held in August 2019. We noted the recommendations in NEAT Memorandum No.16, which advocates for socio-cultural connectivity and the establishment of smart and sustainable cities in East Asia. Cultural institutions and related networks need to be strengthened, and environmental issues, particularly on ocean plastic debris, need to be addressed.

33. We underscored the importance of forging closer cooperation in other areas such as tourism, energy, and minerals. The Ministers also encouraged the APT countries to explore closer cooperation in women empowerment and gender equality, as well as narrowing the development gap in ASEAN, including through the IAI.

34. We commended Thailand’s initiative and support from other APT countries to establish the APT website. To this end, we welcomed the launch of the website, which will serve as a useful tool to provide up-to-date information on the growing number of APT activities, increase the visibility and enhance public awareness of the APT cooperation among the APT countries.

Regional and International Issues

35. We welcomed the resumption of the working-level discussion between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States (U.S.), as well as the initiatives by the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China to establish a sustainable dialogue process with the DPRK. We stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue and efforts amongst all parties concerned, supported by peaceful efforts of the international community, in order to realise lasting peace, security, and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. We urged all concerned parties to resume and continue peaceful dialogue and work together towards progress in the realisation of lasting peace, security, and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Singapore Joint Statement by the U.S. and DPRK Leaders, the Panmunjom Declaration, and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. We reiterated our commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and noted international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. We welcomed ASEAN’s readiness to play a constructive role in contributing to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. Some Leaders emphasised the importance of addressing issues of humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the resolution of the abductions issue.


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