The Forum for East Asia–Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) was created in 1999 as an informal mechanism
with the aim to provide greater dialogue opportunities and promote cooperation between Latin America and East Asia. It is made up of 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). Its highest dialogue mechanism is the Meeting of Foreign Ministers, held every two years in Latin America and East Asia, with both regions taking turn in hosting it. Until now, 9 ministerial meetings have been convened:
- Santiago, Chile, March 2001;
- Manila, Philippines, January2004;
- Brasilia, Brazil, August 2007;
- Tokyo, Japan, January 2010;
- Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 2011;
- Bali, Indonesia, June 2013;
- San Jose, Costa Rica, August 2015;
- Busan, South Korea, August 2017;
- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, November 2019.
The Senior Officials’ Meeting is held twice a year to discuss the activities of the forum. The mechanism also has the support of a Cyber Secretariat and two Regional Coordinators elected every two years. FEALAC initiatives have low operating cost and flexibility and are undertaken by working groups. FEALAC has also held business forums. In operation since 2017, the FEALAC Fund aims to finance projects promoting inter-regional cooperation especially in trade and investments. The Fund is administered by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The most recent events of the mechanism are the 20th Senior Officials’ Meeting and the 9th Meeting of Foreign Ministers (Santo Domingo, November 2019), which reviewed activities of the working groups and the FEALAC Fund and addressed ways to further develop the forum’s cooperation framework. On the sidelines of these events, another meeting of the FEALAC Business Forum was held, opening up more opportunities for contact and business between entrepreneurs from the two regions.
The 10th FEALAC Foreign Minister’s Meeting is scheduled for 2021, in a country to be confirmed.