The Forum for East Asia –Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) was created in 1999
at the initiative of Chile and Singapore, with the objective of stimulating interaction and mutual understanding between the two regions, of promoting greater political dialogue, and of increasing cooperation in order to foster coordination between the members.
The Forum contributes to strengthening and promoting bi-regional relations, since it constitutes the most comprehensive cooperation mechanism involving East Asia and Latin America. Today, it comprises 36 countries: 20 from Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela) and 16 from East Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, China, Singapore, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand).
From an institutional point of view, the Forum currently works on three levels:
- Foreign Ministers Committee: it convenes every two years;
- Senior Officials Committee: meets annually; and
- Working groups: hold meetings annually in the following areas: Sociopolitical Cooperation and Sustainable Development; Trade, Investment, Tourism and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises; Culture; Youth; Gender and Sports; Science and Technology; Innovation and Education.
In addition, there are two Regional Coordinators (countries elected in ministerial meetings), which are responsible for hosting the meetings of Foreign Ministers and Senior Officials and guiding cooperation proposals and activities.
FEALAC has held eight Foreign Ministers meetings to date, including one held in Brasília in 2007, and 19 Senior Officials meetings, in addition to several working group meetings.
The 9th meeting of the FEALAC Foreign Ministers Committee is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2019 in the Dominican Republic.