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Since 1991, through dialogue, education, and training, NEAEF has served as a vehicle for exchange of information and ideas among Northeast Asian and North American policymakers, businesspersons, academics, and members of nongovernmental organizations. By engaging in Intraregional and Interregional Dialogue, in cooperation with partner organizations, NEAEF has created a network of country committees in China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Mongolia, the United States and the European Union dedicated to promoting NEAEF activities and goals.


Beginning in 1997, NEAEF began a discussion of energy issues as a major part of functional cooperation in the Northeast Asian region at its annual conferences. In the year 2000, Dr. Taro Nakayama, former Foreign Minister of Japan, Member of Parliament, and Chairman of the Commission for the Promotion of the Asias Energy Community (APAEC), and Dr. Lee-Jay Cho initiated this series of expert group meetings in Honolulu. The main objective of the meeting was to explore key energy issues that will confront Northeast Asia in the 21st century and to discuss the critical role of natural gas from both a regional perspective and the perspective of individual countries. The subsequent meetings continue to explore current and relevant themes in this field and have been extremely valuable in serving as a catalyst for work among the experts of the Northeast Asian region.


Building upon the 26 year legacy, the annual conference continues valuable discussion and ties together the year’s activities of on-going working groups, ad hoc meetings and seminars. Held in various cities throughout the region, the NEAEF network sponsors dialogue and research on:

  • Energy efficiency and electric power systems
  • Energy security and regional energy networks
  • Energy conservation and the environment
  • Financial institutions and capital mobilization
  • Demographic change, aging and social security
  • Human resources development
  • Northeast Asia Development Bank
  • Regional transportation and logistics
  • Scenarios for regional cooperation
  • Trade and investment and FTA’s
  • Tumen River area development
  • Education and Training: Young Leaders Research and Training Program

Young Leaders Research and Training Program in Regional Cooperation

The Northeast Asia Economic Forum (NEAEF), with support from the Freeman Foundation, has been conducting the Young Leaders Training and Research Program in Regional Cooperation and Development since 2006.


Sometimes after an annual conference, NEAEF is invited lead a delegation to visit a location that is critical to the development and cooperation of the Northeast Asian region. In Summer 2014, Dr. Lee-Jay Cho and Glyn Ford led a field excursion to the Rason Special Economic Zone in Rajin-Sonbong.  


NEAEF, with its partners offer seminars and symposiums to provide the community with information on international affairs, especially in the Northeast Asia region and between the United States. In August 2014, participants at the University of Hawaii were treated to a rare opportunity to discuss the turmoil in Ukraine with Glyn Ford, former member of the European Parliament. The audience was also fascinated by Mr. Ford’s many trips to North Korea and the experience he shared.