May 28, 2018

Background

The Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) is an intergovernmental organization created on 18 June 2002 to promote Asian cooperation at a continental level and to help integrate separate regional organizations. The main objectives of the ACD are to:

1.      Promote interdependence among Asian countries in all areas of cooperation by identifying Asia’s common strengths and opportunities which will help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for Asian people whilst developing a knowledge-based society within Asia and enhancing community and people empowerment.

2-   Expand the trade and financial market within Asia and increase the bargaining power of Asian countries in lieu of competition and, in turn, enhance Asia’s economic competitiveness in the global market.

3-   Serve as the missing link in Asian cooperation by building upon Asia’s potentials and strengths through supplementing and complementing existing cooperative frameworks so as to become a viable partner for other regions.

4- Ultimately transform the Asian continent into an Asian Community, capable of interacting with the rest of the world on a more equal footing and contributing more positively towards mutual peace and prosperity.

 

Origins and Early Development

The idea of an Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) was first broached in 2000 by Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai (Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2001–2006 and later Deputy Prime Minister).

Since the holding of the First Ministerial Meeting in Cha Am, Thailand in June 2002, The ACD’s membership has grown from 18 to 32 countries encompassing five different geographical areas of Asia: Central Asia, West Asia, East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

ACD Member States
Year of Accession country
2002 Bahrain
2002 Bangladesh
2002 Brunel Darussalam
2002 Cambodia
2002 China
2002 India
2002 Indonesia
2002 Japan
2002 Republic of Korea
2002 Lao PDR
2002 Malaysia
2002 Myanmar
2002 Pakistan
2002 Philippines
2002 Qatar
2002 Singapore
2002 Thailand
2003 Vietnam
2003 Kazakhstan
2003 Kuwait
2003 Oman
2003 Sri Lanka
2004 Bhutan
2004 Iran
2004 Mongolia
2004 UAE
2005 Russia
2005 Saudi Arabia
2006 Tajikistan
2006 Uzbekistan
2007 Kyrgyz Republic
2012 Afghanistan 

2013 Turkey

Significantly, the ACD is a forum rather than an organization. As such, it has developed in two dimensions: dialogue and projects. The dialogue dimension consists of annual ACD Ministerial Meetings. Foreign Ministers also meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to review ACD cooperation and deepen the “Asia’s voice” on the global stage.

The areas of concern for which the ACD member countries encourage close cooperation and develop worthwhile projects are varied and vast.

Prime Movers and Co-Prime Movers                      Areas of Cooperation
Bahrain,Indonesia,Kazakhstan,Qatar,China          Energy
Bangladesh,Cambodia and Vietnam                       Poverty alleviation
China,Pakistan and Kazakhstan                                Agriculture
India , Kazakhstan and Myanmar                            Transport linkages
India                                                                            Biotechnology
Malaysia                                                                       E-Commerce
Malaysia                                                                       Infrastructure fund
Malaysia and Iran                                                      E-Education
Pakistan                                                                       Asian Institute of Standards
Singapore and Sri Lanka                                          SMEs cooperation
Reublic of Korea and Russia                                     IT development
 Philippines                                                         Science and technology
Thailand , Cambodia, Myanmar,Pakistan

and Bahrain                                                                Tourism
Thailand and Kazakhstan                                         Financial cooperation
Vietnam and Thailand                                             Human resource development
Japan, Qatar and Bahrain                                      Environmental education
Japan Strengthening                                                legal infrastructure
Oman                                                                           Road Safety
Russia                                                                          Natural Disaster
Iran, India and Bahrain                                           Cultural Cooperation

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who meet annually, constitute the ACD’s “higher body.” In the period between ministerial meetings, Foreign Ministers hold working meetings in which they discuss implementation of the projects and programs, exchange their views on key international and regional issues on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.