NEAT Working Group on
Mapping an EAEC Blueprint: For an Open and Innovative East Asia
The idea of the “East Asia Economic Community” (EAEC) has originated in the building of “East Asia Community” (EAC), which was proposed in a report named “Towards an East Asia Community: Region of Peace, Prosperity and Progress” by the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG I) in 2001. The report expected that “the economic field, including trade, investment and finance, is to serve as the catalyst in this community-building process”. Ten years later, in the light of significant progress in ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation and the new situation faced by the region, the EAVG II, which was established under the proposal of South Korea, produced a new report titled “Realizing an East Asia Economic Community (EAEC) by 2020”. This report, based upon the stock-taking of all of the APT cooperation activities and recommending the realization of an EAEC by 2020 as the main pillar of the new vision for regional cooperation and community building, was adopted by all the leaders at the ATP Commemorative Summit in 2012 in Cambodia.
However, without a blueprint and means of implementation as follow-ups, the pathway for the EAEC 2020 is not clear and thus no corresponding review of its process has ever been carried out in the past six years. Furthermore, with only two years left towards 2020, more questions arise: will EAEC 2020 end up with nothing or with a revival? If a revival is a consensus, what should be the future direction and pathway of regional integration and community building in East Asia? Drawing upon ASEAN’s successful experience and its practice of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) blueprints, and taking stock of past APT cooperation, it is high time now East Asia pinpointed a new vision for post-2020 era as a successor of EAEC 2020 and mapped an EAEC blueprint for the new vision. That is why this working group is established.
On 10 July 2018, NEAT China hosted the Working Group meeting on “Mapping a Blueprint for the East Asia Economic Community” in Dalian, China. Around 30 participants from the APT countries attended the meeting and discussed the topic in a thorough and outspoken manner. Based upon the enlightening perceptions and suggestions contributed by all the participants in the meeting, we came up with this WG report, which consists of four sections. Section One provides an overview of the prospective EAEC new vision, including its background, aim and significance, guiding principles and key elements. Section Two discusses the main characteristics and elements of the prospective EAEC blueprint. Section Three explores the possible mechanisms of implementation and review for the prospective EAEC blueprint. Section Four proposes some policy recommendations on mapping the prospective EAEC blueprint. As a tentative step, we hope this report will provide a preliminary and rough idea on the outline of the prospective EAEC Blueprint for our governments.
For the full text of the report, click here.