CZECH-MALAYSIAN RELATIONS AT 40:

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1 Embassy of Malaysia, Prague Metropolitan University Prague International Conference Date: 2 May 2011 Venue: Metropolitan University Prague, Učňovská 1/100, Praha 9 Jarov CZECH-MALAYSIAN RELATIONS AT 40: FORGING STRONGER TIES IN THE ERA OF EU ASEAN REGIONALISM International seminar organised by the Embassy of Malaysia in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic; the Association for International Affairs; and the Metropolitan University Prague. INTRODUCTION The main purpose of this international seminar is to commemorate the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Malaysia and to evaluate their past developments and future prospects. In the last two decades, both Malaysia and the Czech Republic have experienced rapid changes in terms of their political and social-economic development. Malaysia that has successfully emerged from the global economic downturn has a relatively open, stateoriented and newly industrialized market economy, while the Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous countries of the post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. The Czech and Malaysian economies have been, over the past several years, in the scope of interest of mainly Western European, American, and some Asian investors. However, the governments of both countries are keen on improving and broadening their contacts in other regions and countries as well. Therefore, the Czech Republic views South-East Asia as one of these very promising regions, with Malaysia being one of the most successful members of ASEAN. 1

2 OBJECTIVES: assess past developments and future prospects of Czech-Malaysian relations with an emphasis on trade and economic aspects; propose possible ways and means for a further growth of the existing economic relations, namely focusing on trade and investment, and strengthening the bilateral cooperation in higher education, tourism and culture; discuss various obstacles and opportunities with respect to EU-ASEAN relations with an emphasis on the recent suspension of the EU-ASEAN FTA negotiations; highlight Malaysia as a vibrant country with a dynamic and modern economy as well as an attractive investment destination. 2

3 PROGRAMME Lecture Hall (Room No. 402), 4 th Floor 8:30 Registration 9:00 Opening speech by H.E. Dr. Vítězslav Grepl Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and former Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Malaysia 9:30 Assessing the State of Czech-Malaysian Relations: Past Achievements and Future Prospects Moderator: Dr. Tomáš Petrů, Head of Department of Asian Studies, Metropolitan University Prague Speakers: PhDr. Zdeněk Zbořil, Institute of International Relations, Prague Mr. Madzli Harun, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia, and Ph.D. Fellow, University of Antwerp (Centre of ASEAN Studies), Belgium 11:00 Coffee Break Room No. 403, 4 th Floor 11:30 Czech-Malaysian Economic and Trade Relations in the Context of the Suspension of the EU-ASEAN FTA Negotiations Moderator: Ms. Alice Savovová, former Director of Association for International Affairs Speakers: Mr. Roswaidin Mohd Zain, Director of Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Frankfurt Dr. Miroslav Okrouhlý, Director of Asia and Pacific Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic 13:00 Buffet Lunch 3

4 Room No. 101, 1 st Floor 14:00 Session 3: ASEAN s Relations with the European Union: Obstacles and Opportunities Moderator: Dr. Daniel Novotný, Deputy Director of the Research Center, Association for International Affairs, Prague Speakers: Prof. Dr. Paul Lim, Centre for European Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Dr. Clara Portela, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Singapore Management University 15:30 Wrap-up remarks by Dr. Daniel Novotný. 15:45 Closing remarks by H.E. Zainal Abidin Bakar, Ambassador of Malaysia to the Czech Republic 4

5 The Speakers Bio: H.E. Zainal Abidin Bakar is currently serving as an Ambassador of Malaysia to the Czech Republic. He attained a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree from the Keele University, the UK, Diploma in Public Administration from the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) in Malaysia, and Oxford University Postgraduate Certificate on Foreign Service Programme in the UK. He has previously held various senior positions, including as Under Secretary (East Asia) and Under Secretary (Information) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister-Counselor at the Embassy of Malaysia in Brussels, as well as Principal Assistant Secretary (Information) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kuala Lumpur. H.E. Dr. Vítězslav Grepl is currently a Director General of the Section of Non-European Countries and Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. He graduated in Russian and Finnish Languages from Faculty of Philosophy of Charles University, Prague. Later, he also studied at the Institute for International Studies at the University of Leeds, the UK and attended the Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Prior to his current post, he has held various senior diplomatic positions, including as an Ambassador of the Czech Republic to China and Malaysia as well as First Secretary, Deputy Chief of Mission in Helsinki, Finland. Mr. Madzli Harun is currently a PhD candidate in International Trade Policy in the Department of International Economic, International Management and Diplomacy and the Centre for ASEAN Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He attained a Master of Science degree in International Trade Policy from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland and Bachelor (Honours) in Business and Commerce from De Montfort University, England. His main research interests are International Trade Policy and Law, International Relations and Diplomacy and Shipping and Maritime Law. He has also worked as a university lecturer at the Department of Maritime Studies and Marine Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia. Prof. Dr. Paul Lim is currently the Head of the Centre for European Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He attained a Diploma in Philosophy from the College-General, Urbanian University, Vatican City, and Doctoral Degree in Political and Labor Sociology from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Institut des Sciences du Travail, Belgium. In , he was a Senior Academic Advisor at the European Institute for Asian Studies, Brussels. His main research interests include ASEAN, EU-ASEAN and ASEM and the EU's relations with Taiwan and China. He has had an over 35 years of professional experience both in Europe as in Asia as community organiser, professor, researcher, political adviser, and coordinator of educational exchange programmes. Dr. Daniel Novotný is a Deputy Director of the Research Centre at the Association for International Affairs and teaches at Metropolitan University Prague and Anglo-American University. He holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He has recently published a monograph entitled Torn between American and China: Elite Perceptions and Indonesian Foreign Policy. He specializes, in general, in international relations and security of the Asia-Pacific and the EU foreign policy strategy. In the past, he has held fellowships and appointments at The Habibie Centre, Jakarta, Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, and Monash University and Deakin University, Melbourne. 5

6 Dr. Miroslav Okrouhlý is presently a Director of Asia and Pacific Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. He has held various positions in international trade and the banking sector. He was also posted with the Czech diplomatic mission abroad as a Commercial Counselor in the United States, Economic Counselor and Trade Commissioner in Canada as well as Chief Banking Representative for South East Asia based in Bangkok. Dr. Okrouhlý studied international trade at the University of Economics, Prague and international economic relations at the University of London, London School of Economics and international law at the Faculty of Law, Charles University, Prague. PhDr. Tomáš Petrů, PhD, is Head of the Department of Asian Studies at Metropolitan University Prague, where he teaches, inter alia, courses on Southeast Asian history, politics and ethnology. As a graduate of Indonesian Studies and with his PhD in Asian Histories and Cultures from the Charles University in Prague, he has a long-term interest in early modern and modern history of Indonesia, which he utilized for instance as a co-author of A History of Indonesia (2005, Prague, in Czech). His working experience also includes employments as an interpreter from the Indonesian language for the Czech government, lecturer in the Indonesian language, as well as consultant for media like the Czech Television, Rádio Česko and BBC Czech Republic. Dr. Clara Portela is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Singapore Management University. She holds an MA from the Free University of Berlin and a doctorate in Political Science from the European University Institute in Florence. Clara has also been a visiting fellow at the National Europe Centre in Canberra. In the past, she has also held research fellowships with the Centre for European Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and with the EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris. Her work focuses on the foreign policy of the European Union and on international security. She has recently published a book entitled European Union Sanctions and Foreign Policy: When and Why do they Work? Ms. Alice Savovová, graduated in International European Studies and Diplomacy from the University of Economics in Prague majoring in European Economic Integration. Then she successfully completed Honors Academia studies, extra-semestral master program in economy and trade for excellent students and professionals. She accomplished a stipend study program at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology focusing on international trade and political economic strategies of Southeast Asian countries and participated in a scholar internship at the China Africa Business Council in Beijing. In early 2010 period, she worked as a Director of the Association of International Affairs. She presently works as an independent economic consultant specializing in the Southeast and East Asian regions. Mr. Roswaidin Mohd Zain has been working as a Director of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in Frankfurt since July He graduated in the field of Economics from the University of Malaya and later was awarded a Post-Graduate Diploma in Information System from the Universiti Sains Malaysia. Prior to his current appointment, he has held various positions, including as a Deputy Director of the Foreign Investment Promotion Division, MIDA, and Assistant Director of the Transport Industries Division as well as the Domestic Investment Promotion Division, MIDA, Kuala Lumpur. PhDr. Zdeněk Zbořil is an expert in the history of international relations and organizations with emphasis on political systems in the Pacific region, political extremism, radicalism and fundamentalism. He presently teaches at New York University, Prague. He graduated in History, Indonesian Studies and Politics from the Philosophical Faculty at Charles University, Prague. In , he was a Professor at Korea University in Seoul and later he worked as a Deputy Director and Director of the Institute of Political Science at the Philosophical Faculty, Charles University. In , he was chief editor of the Mezinárodní politika (International Politics) journal. 6

7 RSVP: By Thursday, 27 April 2011 At or Tel: (Embassy of Malaysia); and At or Tel: (Embassy of Malaysia) 7

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