Officially recognized at the “10+3" summit meeting, Network of East Asian Think-tanks (NEAT) is a mechanism for research and academic exchange, and a platform for the second-track diplomacy in the regional cooperation among “10+3" countries in East Asia. It aims at integrating the research resources in East Asia, promoting the academic exchanges and providing intellectual support for East Asian cooperation. To be more specific, by establishing a network among East Asian think-tanks, governments and enterprises and promoting the interaction of these three circles, it intends to study the key issues related to East Asian cooperation, work out strategic ideas and concrete policy suggestions for the regional integration and submit research reports to the “10+3" summit meeting.

In 2002, East Asian Studies Group (EASG), the second-track in the mechanism of East Asian cooperation, suggested 17 short-term measures to be taken for closer cooperation among East Asian nations, among which was establishing “Network of East Asian Think-tanks" (NEAT) within the framework of “10+3" regional cooperation. The suggestion was adopted at the informal meeting of “10+3" leaders held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in September 2002.

1. Serve as a Track II process for ASEAN+3 or East Asian cooperation;
2. Pool together academic resources of the ASEAN+3 countries to provide intellectual support for East Asian cooperation;
3. Study issues and initiatives identified by the ASEAN+3 Summit or other levels of meetings and provide policy recommendations to the ASEAN+3 meetings;
4. Designate its representatives to present recommendations at Track I meetings of ASEAN+3/ East Asian cooperation, international conferences and other activities;
5. Study issues and carry out joint research concerning East Asian cooperation in key areas, including strategic and emerging issues concerning the overall situation and the future direction of East Asian cooperation;
6. Produce and disseminate NEAT publications;
7. Organize working group meetings, workshop, and other cooperative activities if necessary; and
8. Establish linkages with Track I of the ASEAN+3 and with other networks, institutions and organizations.

The idea of an establishment of the working group (WG) meetings was initiated at the 2nd annual conference of NEAT in Bangkok in August 2004. The meeting agreed for NEAT to strengthen its activities to function as a more policy-oriented body in the Track II process. To make it possible, it was suggested that NEAT should introduce WG which focus on the following specific topics as proposed by each country coordinators.

1. WG on Labour migration (Malaysia)
2. WG on Energy Security (Singapore)
3. WG on Overall Regional Architecture in East Asia (Promoting Regional Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security, Environmental Protection, Pandemic Diseases) (Japan)
4. WG on East Asia Financial Cooperation (China)
5. WG on East Asia Investment Cooperation (China)
6. WG on Enhancement of Cultural Exchange in East Asia organized (ROK)

The activities of NEAT fall into the following categories:
1. Hold annual conferences of NEAT members to promote exchanges among East Asian think tanks and submit an annual work report to the informal meeting of “10+3" leaders on the basis of the research of the key issues in East Asian integration process. The first annual conference was inaugurated in 2003 in Beijing and the conference report was not only published, but also distributed at the “10+3” leaders meeting in 2003;
2. Set up a website of NEAT, bridging the governments with the academic circles, promoting the academic exchanges among scholars about East Asia, and educating the masses in the region;
3. Hold irregular international seminars on East Asian cooperation so as to facilitate the theoretic research on the integration and community building of East Asia and help to shape the theoretic framework, strategies and specific policies conducive to the regional cooperation in East Asia.
4. Cooperate in the research of the key issues in regional cooperation and figure out the solutions.

1st 29-30 September 2003 Beijing An official establishment of NEAT
2nd 16-17 August 2004 Bangkok Towards an East Asian Community
3rd 22-23 August 2005 Tokyo Towards an East Asian Community
4th 22-23 September 2006 Kuala Lumpur Adopted the six working groups’ report on
  • Trade-FDI-Technology Linkages in East Asia
  • East Asian Investment Cooperation
  • East Asian Financial Cooperation
  • Intra-regional Exchange Rate Stability & Prevention of Financial
    Crisis in East Asia
  • Energy Security Cooperation in East Asia
  • Overall Architecture of Community Building in East Asia
5th 21 August 2007 Singapore East Asia Cooperation: Towards Sustainable Development and Prosperity
6th 24-25 August 2008 Bali, Indonesia Strengthening Cooperation and Consolidation towards Closer Integration
7th 31 August 2009 Korea Adopted the five working groups’ report on
  • Financial Cooperation
  • Environmental Cooperation
  • Enhancement of Cultural Exchange
  • Investment Cooperation
  • Food Security
8th 23 August 2010 Manila Adopted the six working groups’ report on
  • Evolving Regional Architecture
  • Financial Cooperation
  • Trade and Investment Facilitation
  • Enhancement of Cultural Exchange through Education
  • Water Resource Management
  • Food Security
9th 11 August 2011 Danang, Viet Nam Adopted the four working groups’ report on
  • Disaster Management
  • Enhancement of Cultural Exchange in East Asia
  • Regional Cooperation on Disaster Management in East Asia
  • Trade and Investment Facilitation
10th 28 August 2012 Beijing Deepening East Asian Integration through Building Trust
11th 27 August 2013 Kuala Lumpur Presentation on the four main sessions
  • Moving East Asia Forward: Turning Ideas Into Actions Panel Interaction with ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials
  • Beyond the Chiang Mai Initiative: What’s Next? Panel Interaction
    with ASEAN Plus Three Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO)
  • Connectivity and Inclusiveness in the APT Region
  • The Road to East Asian Community 2020
12th 30 September 2014 Phnom Penh Adopted the four working groups’ report on
  • Enhancing People to People Connectivity-Education,
    Tourism and Cultural Exchange
  • New Wave of Urbanisation: Challenges and Opportunities for
    Regional Cooperation
  • Accelerating the RCEP Process through Strengthening APT Cooperation
  • Governance of Extractive Industries in East Asia
13th 8 September 2015 Bandung, Indonesia Theme: Maritime Cooperation
  • Maritime Cooperation in East Asian Region
  • East Asian Poverty Reduction
  • Urbanization: “Towards Good Urban Planning: Sustainable Development and Better Quality of Life”
  • Towards Seamless Connectivity: Transforming Multi-modal
    Transport System into Economic Corridors
14th 29 July 2016 Bangkok Theme: Crisis Management in East Asia Adopted the four working groups’ report on
  • Migration
  • The Road towards the East Asia Economic Community
  • Enhancing of Regional Health in East Asia with Special Reference to the Public Health and Universal Health Coverage
  • Institutional Sustainability of NEAT towards the East Asian Community
15th 8 September 2017 Busan, Republic of Korea Panel discussion on “Enhancing Socio Cultural Cooperation in East Asia”
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