Think Tank (September to November 2019)
Amb Ong Keng Yong gave the opening remarks at the workshop


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Kick-off Workshop for the Policy Research Network on Contemporary Southeast Asia
06 Sep 2019
David Butler
Benjamin Ho
Lee YingHui
Sarah Teo

RSIS, the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Japan, and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Indonesia co-organised a kick-off workshop from 6 to 7 September 2019, to launch the Policy Research Network on Contemporary Southeast Asia. Around 50 participants attended the workshop that was held at the Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, Riverview.

Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS, Ambassador Yutaka Iimura, Senior Fellow, GRIPS Alliance, and Mr Jusuf Wanandi, Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees, CSIS Foundation, delivered the opening remarks, all noting the timeliness and relevance of the Policy Research Network. Comprising think tanks and research institutions from Japan and Southeast Asian countries, this network aims to tap on regional expertise and provide policy recommendations on common challenges facing the region.

At the workshop, participants discussed the multitude of challenges facing the region. This included the rising Sino-US competition, tensions on the Korean peninsula, as well as domestic developments within the individual countries in the region. The participants also noted that the current ‘trade war’ between China and the United States reflected rising protectionist sentiments as well as inadequacies of multilateralism.

Amid these geostrategic shifts, the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, issued in June 2019, could be viewed as an attempt by ASEAN to preserve its centrality and the relevance of ASEAN-led multilateral institutions. It is imperative for ASEAN to work closely with external partners such as Japan, Australia, China, India, and the US to ensure regional stability.

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