The core activity at MIMA is to undertake research and studies on issues pertinent to Malaysia's maritime interests. In doing so, MIMA provides the Government of Malaysia with opinions, policy options and recommendations to safeguard the nation’s maritime interests.
The scope of research undertaken at MIMA is reflected in the way its Research teams are organised. The areas of research is reflected in the name of the five research centres at the institute, namely the Centre for Coastal and Marine Environment (CMER), the Centre for Maritime Economics and Industries (MEI), the Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy (MSD), the Centre for Ocean Law and Policy (OLAP) and the Centre for Straits of Malacca (SOM). These areas of focus of the research at MIMA reflect the key maritime areas for Malaysia.
Throughout the years, MIMA has carried out research on numerous maritime issues. They are essentially driven by the needs of the stakeholders and the pressing issues and developments of the day of public interest and which require policy intervention. In this regard, MIMA’s researchers constantly engage and consult the stakeholders to identify priority issues and research areas that need to be addressed and tackled. This helps ensure that MIMA’s research activities are timely and relevant to the needs of the stakeholders, and that the policy options produced are practical, implementable and acceptable to the stakeholders.
Besides conducting research activities, MIMA is also entrusted with the task of imparting knowledge, building capacity and awareness on maritime matters to specialist groups and the general public. This involves organising seminars, conferences, talks and training programmes on various maritime issues and subjects. MIMA has successfully conducted training courses and workshops on maritime boundary delimitation, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS), Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits (UCP 500) and various aspects of maritime economics.
MIMA has also been conducting courses under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) through which Malaysia shares its development experience and expertise with other developing countries. Thus far, MIMA has conducted three such courses for officials from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The courses in 2010 and 2011 focused on the management of the maritime sector and the one in January 2013 focused on maritime security. The courses were facilitated by MIMA senior researchers and renowned local experts.
MIMA has also conducted a course titled 'Strategic Planning Workshop for Senior Shipping Management' (STRATSHIP) in 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2007 with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The course provided Senior Managers of shipping companies with a management tool that would be beneficial for them in making strategic decisions in the course of managing a successful shipping company.
As part of MIMA's commitment in raising awareness and imparting knowledge on the marine environment, MIMA has celebrated the World Oceans Day and co-organised the event with the National Science Centre, Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO, World Wildlife Fund and the Malaysian Society of Marine Science.
Through conducting training courses and awareness building activities, MIMA reaches out to maritime stakeholders in raising public awareness on maritime matters. MIMA has also produced many publications as a result of its research efforts. These books, monographs, issue papers and analytical reports are available for public consumption. In addition MIMA also produces client-specific and restricted policy documents such as position statements, policy briefs and policy recommendations.
2013 marks a watershed year in the history of MIMA which celebrates its 20th anniversary. Reaching this milestone provides the institute with a moment to reflect on its achievements, the current issues and challenges faced by Malaysia in the maritime realm and the role that MIMA can play in helping policymakers face and address them.