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The Colombo Plan is a regional organization that embodies the concept of collective inter-governmental effort to strengthen economic and social development of member countries in the Asia-Pacific Region. The primary focus of all Colombo Plan activities is on human resources development.

The organization was born out of a Commonwealth Conference of Foreign Ministers, held in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lankamarker), in January 1950. At this meeting, a Consultative Committee was established to provide a framework within which international cooperation efforts could be promoted to raise the living standards of people in the region. Originally conceived as lasting for a period of six years, the Colombo Plan was extended several times until 1980, when it was extended indefinitely.

The "Plan" is not meant to be an integrated master plan to which national plans were expected to conform. It is, instead, a framework for bi-lateral arrangements involving foreign aid and technical assistance for the economic and social development of the region.

The principal organs of the Colombo Plan are - the Consultative Committee, the Council and the Secretariat. Administrative costs of the Council and Secretariat are borne equally by the 25 member countries.

Present members

The Colombo Plan currently has 25 members, including countries in the Asia-Pacific region, non Commonwealth countries and countries belonging to regional groupings such as ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).
Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education Logo
Member economy Date of accession
1963
1950
1972
1962
1972
1950
1953
1966
1954
1962
1951
1957
1963
2004
1952
1952
1950
1950
1973
1954
1966
1950
1954
1951
2004


Past members

There have been four Past members of the Colombo Plan including two founding members in 1950, Canada and the United Kingdom. South Vietnam joined in 1951 and on 2 Jul 1976 was succeeded by Socialist Republic of Vietnam which withdrew 1978. Vietnam was a provisional member from 5 Nov 2001 to 18 Nov 2003 until it was accepted in 2004.

Member economy Date of accession Date of deposition
1950 1992
1950 1991
1951 2004
1951 1975


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