The summit provides a platform for the ASEAN countries' leaders to discuss the situation in the Southeast Asian region and exchange opinions on the differences between the countries peacefully.
The aim is for the leaders to make decisions that would contribute to the region's economic growth, social progress and cultural development.
At this year's summit, the leaders are expected to discuss measures necessary to seek outside support for the ASEAN Connectivity Program. Security issues, such as the North Korean nuclear threat and the East China Sea dispute will top the meeting's agenda.
Since 2010, another component of the summit is a meeting with other countries which aim to 'participate on the mission and vision of the league'.
ASEAN+3, namely China, Japan and South Korea, and ASEAN+CER, which consists of Australia and New Zealand, hold separate meetings with the ASEAN leaders.
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