MANIS: Time for a new forum to sweeten regional cooperation

MANIS: Time for a new forum to sweeten regional cooperation

Author/s (editor/s):

John Blaxland

Publication year:

2016

Publication type:

Discussion paper

Manis is the Bahasa word for ‘sweet’. It also could symbolise a grouping of maritime partners on the southern edge of South-east Asia: Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore.

MANIS regional maritime cooperation forum, could address a vast range of concerns for the member countries such as illegal fisheries, natural resources, smuggling and transnational crime. In this paper, Dr John Blaxland of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, draws on his decades of experience working in and across Southeast Asia to argue for a new forum that can help overcome some of the region’s short and long term challenges. This paper explores the range of existing regional forums in Southeast Asia, and shows why MANIS is both different and necessary. It looks at how each of the countries might view such a forum, and shows why there are benefits to each. This paper has also been translated into Bahasa Indonesia. This version, Saatnya membuat kerjasama kawasan menjadi lebih MANIS, can be found on page 14.

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