Singapore's foreign policy is aimed at maintaining security in Southeast Asia and surrounding territories. An underlying principle is political and economic stability in the region. It has diplomatic relations with more than 180 sovereign states. Since 2002, it has hosted the annual inter-government security forum Shangri-La Dialogue, by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, attended by ministers and defence officials from the Asia-Pacific and Europe. The high-level dialogue has had influence on confrontational issues, such as territorial disputes in the East and South China seas, together with discussions about global security and terrorism.
As one of the five founding members of ASEAN, it is a strong supporter of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the ASEAN Investment Area, because Singapore's economy is closely linked to that of the region as a whole. Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong proposed the formation of an ASEAN Economic Community, a step beyond the current AFTA, bringing it closer to a common market. This was agreed to in 2007 for implementation by 2015. Other regional organisations are important to Singapore, and it is the host of the APEC Secretariat. Singapore maintains membership in other regional organisations, such as Asia–Europe Meeting, the Forum for East Asia-Latin American Cooperation, the Asian Network of Major Cities 21, and the East Asia Summit. It is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and