initiative, Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) was successfully launched
in Cha-Am, Thailand on 18-19 June 2002. The participants at the
inauguration of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue consist of 17 ministers
from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India,
Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Pakistan, the
Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
will serve as a confidence-building process for Asian nations, a
confidence that is built upon the Spirit of Bandung initiated by
Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and a confidence that is
based upon Prime Minister Koizumi's goal to create " a community
that acts together and advances together." The Dialogue will
also serve as a bridge between all sub-regional groupings spanning
South, West, Southeast and Northeast Asia, an idea which was given
impetus at the First International Conference of Asian Political
Parties held in Manila in 1999.
It was in Cha-Am,
a tranquil sea resort on the Gulf of Thailand, where this long-standing
ideal has been materialized. It was the first time ever that key
Asian nations agreed that they need to build unity among Asian countries
and forge a substantive and meaningful platform for the continent
by creating Asia wide strategic partnership for cooperation so as
to make Asia a stronger partner for other regions.
of ACD is informal, top-down, evolving and non-institutionalized.
Characterized by its positive thinking, ACD is open, broad-based,
and inclusive and belongs to all Asian countries. The ACD ministers
firmly believe that the world will benefit as ACD grows and prospers.
ministers felt that the core value of the ACD is its dialogue. However,
it is vital to strike a proper balance between dialogue and projects
components. The ACD should be results-oriented in order to move
forward. A number of ACD countries have expressed interest or volunteered
to become "prime movers" in the area of cooperation that best match their
expertise and interests. For example, Singapore has suggested in taking
a lead in the area of SMEs; Bangladesh, Cambodia in poverty alleviation;
Malaysia in e-commerce and infrastructure tax; Indonesia in energy security;
South Korea in IT development; Pakistan in e-government, e-commerce and
Institute of Standards; and Thailand in tourism. Duplication of efforts, which
are being made at other existing regional cooperation, must be avoided.
As ACD coordinator
from June 2002 to June 2003, Thailand has actively and continuously
engaged every ACD country to collectively promote and further strengthen
ACD process. Several ACD inter-sessional and follow-up meetings
have followed the ministerial Dialogue in June. Thai ACD Teams of
senior representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have
visited ACD capitals to continue consultation with their ACD counterparts
on the questions of prime movers and future geographical coverage
Until the second
ACD ministerial meeting in Chiang Mai, north of Thailand in June
2003, Thailand hopes that ACD will have reached new heights by inviting
more countries in Asia to join the ACD nations at the forefront
of Asian cooperation.
BIMST - EC
BOAO - Forum