NEAT Working Group on
Enhancing People to People Connectivity: Education, Tourism and Cultural Exchange
Through the institutionalization of ASEAN+3 (APT) in 1997 and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2005, regional cooperation and integration in the East Asia region has been promoted. Especially ASEAN, which has enforced its ASEAN Charter in December 2008 and aimed at community building within ASEAN by 2015 has rapidly increased integration efforts. For ASEAN Community Building, enhancing “connectivity” is the most important task, with ASEAN having adopted “ASEAN Leaders' Statement on ASEAN Connectivity” in 2009, “Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity” in 2010. Efforts to integration are made based on three pillars: “Physical Connectivity,” which includes transportation, telecommunications and energy networks, “Institutional Connectivity,” which includes trade, investment the liberalization and facilitation of the service sector and “People to People Connectivity,” which includes education, tourism and cultural exchange. Additionally, APT as well as EAS have adopted the “Declaration of the 6th East Asia Summit on ASEAN Connectivity” in 6th EAS in 2011 and the “Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Plus Three Partnership on Connectivity” in 15th APT in 2012, with both frameworks strongly supporting the enhancing of connectivity within ASEAN. The move towards enhancing connectivity within the East Asia region as a whole is gaining momentum and enhancing people to people connectivity is increasing in importance as a foundation of the improvement of physical and institutional connectivity.
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