Fourth East Asia Summit opens


Hua Hin (Thailand) : The fourth East Asia Summit (EAS), in which the leaders of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and their counterparts from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand would discuss regional cooperation, opened here Sunday.

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According to the official summit agenda, the discussion during the meeting will focus on the direction of future regional cooperation and capacity building measures to prepare for various global challenges that affect the region, Xinhua reported.

A possible outcome of the EAS is the Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on EAS Disaster Management, which was scheduled to be issued by the leaders after the meeting.

The statement concerning EAS Disaster Management identifies various measures that the 16 countries attending the East Asia Summit will take to address threats posed by natural disasters, which are becoming more frequent and more severe.

The leaders will also follow up on the implementation of a joint press statement by the EAS on the global economic crisis, and discuss the recommendations of the EAS workshop on trade finance held in Thailand September, and the result of the feasibility study on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia.

The EAS is part of a series of summit level meetings related to the 15th ASEAN Summit, which kicked off Oct 23.

Originally scheduled to take place in December 2008, the fourth EAS was postponed due to political unrest in Thailand. The Thai authorities later planned to host the summit in April this year, but anti-government protests again forced the cancellation of the meeting.