This year’s summit, with the theme “Advancing partnership for sustainability,” will seek to promote cooperation and strengthen the consensus process among ASEAN members to address new global challenges.
The leaders of the member countries are expected to express their views on sustainable development and put forward action plans to address maritime pollution and draft a framework related to Indo-Pacific issues.
They also target wrapping up negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade agreement between the 10 ASEAN members — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — and the six Asia-Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.
ASEAN holds summits twice a year. The second summit this year will take place in November and see Thailand take over the chair, a position that is rotated among members annually, from Singapore.
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