Southeast Asia Trilateral Forum
Long overshadowed by great powers like Japan and China, Southeast Asia in recent years has emerged as an economic and political fulcrum of the larger Asian region. With a population of more than 615 million people, a $2.5 trillion economy that would rank as the world’s 7th largest, and governments ranging from vibrant democracies to reforming dictatorships, Southeast Asia is now pivotal to the peace, prosperity, and freedom of the Indo-Pacific rim. Although U.S. and European cooperation in Asia has improved significantly over the past decade, transatlantic engagement of Southeast Asia remains underdeveloped. To address this gap, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, in partnership with the Westerwelle Foundation, created the Southeast Asia Trilateral Forum to serve as a venue to bring together policymakers, business executives, thought leaders, and senior journalists from the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia to discuss issues of mutual interest. The inaugural Southeast Asia Forum was held in Yangon, Myanmar in February 2016.