Marking a significant milestone for bilateral engagements between RSIS and the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) was the 10th RSIS-NMF Dialogue on 11 April 2019. The 10th anniversary of the annual dialogue was held at Village Hotel Changi, and featured representatives from various local and regional think tanks and academic institutions.
In his welcome remarks, Amb Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS, highlighted the importance of the annual dialogue and how it has fostered academic exchange and cooperation between the two institutions over the last decade.
As the geopolitical landscapes in both the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region continue to evolve, the theme of this year’s dialogue, “The Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia: Promoting Rules-Based Order in the Maritime Commons”, provides a timely opportunity for participants to exchange views on the evolving strategic dynamics and its impact on Southeast Asia.
Various panels during the dialogue focused on recent developments in the Indian Ocean Region and Southeast Asia, especially the security challenges in the maritime domain. Panellists from various countries presented on the maritime strategies and priorities of various regional players, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and India. Some pertinent issues discussed include rising great power competition in regional waters, potential challenges to the rules-based order in the maritime domain, and the emerging concept of the Indo-Pacific.
The dialogue also provided an opportunity for RSIS and NMF to discuss visions for deepening engagement and research cooperation. NMF was represented by a five-member delegation, led by Admiral (Retired) Rabinder K Dhowan, Chairman of the NMF.