East Asia Summit is a unique Leaders-led forum of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific region formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity.
It has evolved as a forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern and plays an important role in the regional architecture.
Established in 2005, EAS allows the principal players in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues of common interest and concern in an open and transparent manner at the highest level.
The membership of EAS consists of ten ASEAN Member States (i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the USA.
EAS is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.
The concept of an East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad.
India has been a part of this process since its inception in 2005 in Kuala Lumpur and the fact that Indian Prime Ministers have participated in all the Summits, stands testimony to the importance India attaches to this process.