CSIS Study Urges U.S. and Malaysia to Boost Ties
Washington, D.C.–A new report, released on May 22 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, underlines a growing recognition in the United States and Malaysia that the bilateral relationship is vital to both countries’ national security and economic interests.
CSIS is a bipartisan, non-profit organization based in this capital that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decision-makers.
The report’s authors provide recommendations outlining ways the two countries can develop an enduring strategy for cooperation in the twenty-first century. The study can be downloaded from the CSIS website, or ordered in hard copy.
The Southeast Asia Program at CSIS launched the study—“From Strength to Empowerment: The Next Generation of U.S.-Malaysia Relations”—in cooperation with ISIS Malaysia in May 2011. The report’s recommendations were formally presented to Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur on November 10, 2011, ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Hawaii and the East Asia Summit in Bali.
The study included an extensive review of U.S.-Malaysia relations, ranging from trade and investment to security and political relations and people-to-people ties. The report called for a 2012 visit to Malaysia by President Obama along with a senior U.S. business delegation; strengthened military ties through enhanced integration, training, and exchange programs for senior officers; the conclusion and implementation of a high-level Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement; and the establishment a U.S.-Malaysia Foundation for Education, among other recommendations.
The recommendations were developed through a series of high-level meetings in Washington, D.C. and Kuala Lumpur that involved top business executives, government officials, civil society leaders, and academics.
The report was directed by Ernest Bower, senior adviser and director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program, and Mahani Zainal Abidin, chief executive of ISIS Malaysia.