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VISIT FROM THE OBSERVER RESEARCH FOUNDATION (ORF)

MIMA had the pleasure of receiving two dynamic scholars from the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) for a discussion on the prospect of cooperation between Malaysia and India to strengthen maritime connectivity in the region, particularly from the Bay of Bengal.

The May 3rd visit was chaired by Center for Ocean Law and Policy (OLAP) Acting Head Ms Jalila bt Abdul Jalil, and included researchers from OLAP as well as the Center for the Straits of Malacca (SOM). Senior Fellow Dr Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury and Associate Fellow Pratnashree Basu were representing ORF’s Kolkata branch. The number one private think tank in India has three other branches in Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi.

The discussion was focused on the strategic importance of the Bay of Bengal, its relation to the Indo Pacific, down to the details of safety and security control mechanisms in ASEAN. Perspectives of other countries on the Indo Pacific, ASEAN centrality, as well as its relations with surrounding countries were also interesting areas that were explored.  Furthermore, the tourism and trade were topics that led to more areas for discussion.

The burgeoning importance of the Indian Ocean has cast a spotlight on the Bay of Bengal. As India is keen to realize the potential of the region, ASEAN countries are seen as a healthy model to learn lessons from.

The discussion between ORF scholars and MIMA researchers were engaging and enlightening for both sides. It ended with the promise of a much deeper collaboration not only for the Bay of Bengal but also for other projects.

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MIMA researchers (seated left) responding to ORF scholars’ (seated right) questions.

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Group photo of MIMA researchers with the ORF scholars.

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Associate Fellow Pratnashree Basu (left) and Senior Fellow Dr Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury (right) discussing the Indo Pacific construct among ASEAN countries.

 

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