Dato’ Mohamed Suffian (MIMA Chairman), HE Dr Peter Blomeyer (Ambassador of Germany to Malaysia), YB Dato’ Sri Ikmal Hisham (Deputy Minister of Defence Malaysia), HE Roland Galharague (Ambassador of France to Malaysia) & HE Michalis Rokas (Ambassador of EU to Malaysia)

The Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) together with the Embassy of France in Malaysia, Embassy of Germany in Malaysia, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Malaysia, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) jointly hosted a seminar on “Multilateral & Inclusive Indo-Pacific Region: European Strategy and Opportunities for Malaysia & Southeast Asia” on February 28 and March 1, 2022. The Keynote Address was delivered by YB Dato’ Sri Ikmal Hisham Bin Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Minister of Defence of Malaysia at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The conference was conducted in hybrid mode (physical and virtual) and attended by 200 participants from all over the world.

Malaysia and the European Union (EU) member states can go beyond maritime security challenges, coordinate in the sustainable development of marine resources, protect the marine environment and develop maritime connectivity for better ocean governance. “This can be achieved under multilateral law and frameworks such as the Asean Regional Forum and the Asia-Europe Meeting,” Deputy Minister of Defence Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz said during his Keynote Speech.

Gabriele Visentin during his slot in Session 1 on 28 February 2022

Multilateralism and inclusiveness are the two key points stressed on by the European states in the engagement in the Indo-Pacific, as pointed out by Gabriele Visentin, the EU Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific in his presentation. The seminar was also graced by the presence of – His Excellency Roland Galharague, Ambassador of France to Malaysia, His Excellency Dr. Peter Blomeyer, Ambassador of Germany to Malaysia, and His Excellency Michalis Rokas, Ambassador of the European Union to Malaysia along with other dignitaries from across the policymaking circle in Malaysia.

All the speakers and moderator during Session 2

The seminar has successfully gauged views and ideas from ASEAN and EU speakers on the opportunities for EU and Southeast Asian countries to collaborate on ocean governance, maritime security, marine environmental protection as well as maritime connectivity. The seminar also fosters a better understanding of the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the region, and the inclusivity it could offer in addressing common challenges and discusses ways of cooperation between ASEAN and the EU in the security and defence fields amidst the intensifying US-China great power rivalry in the Indo-Pacific.

The growing role of the EU in the region presents another option for the Southeast Asian states for economic and security cooperation.


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