The HACGAM forum was established for furthering cooperation amongst the Coast Guards and maritime agencies of Asian region. Four key areas of cooperation were identified viz. Search and Rescue, Environmental Protection, Controlling Unlawful Acts at Seas and Capacity Building.

During 8th HACGAM held in New Delhi in 2012, lead pillars countries were nominated for coordinating the forum efforts in the identified areas of cooperation. The lead pillar constituted were as follows:-

SL Pillar Coordinator
Pillar I Search and Rescue India
Pillar II Environmental Protection Philippines
Pillar III Preventing & Controlling Unlawful Acts Japan & South Korea
Pillar IV Capacity Building Indonesia, Japan & Malaysia

During the 13th HACGAM held in Karachi in 2017, the concept of Working Group was introduced in lieu of the lead pillars to enhance participation of all members by affording an opportunity for participating in group activities.

The details of WGs with lead chair and members is as follows

Working group Lead(Chair) Members
Search and Rescue India Bangladesh, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Pakistan and Turkey
Environmental protection Philippines China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Preventing and controlling unlawful acts at sea Australia Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and ReCAAP ISC
Capacity building Indonesia Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam