Kuala Lumpur, 24 November 2014 – The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) announces today the appointment of Dr. Razeen Sally as the first holder of IDEAS Chair of Political Economy and Governance Programme.

Dr. Sally is a globally renowned expert on international trade policy.  He is Director and Co-founder of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and a Visiting Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He was a faculty member and PhD graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE).  He has published numerous works on global trade policies, global economic crises and the Asian economy including the ASEAN and Chinese economy.

As Chair of Political Economy and Governance Programme at IDEAS, Dr Sally will provide strategic leadership for an initiative aimed at promoting greater liberalisation, reducing cross-border trade barriers, enhancing transparency, and strengthening rules-based trading system in Malaysia.  He will guide a team at IDEAS in conducting research and advocacy, to inform the public and policymakers in Malaysia that liberalisation and integration are the best way forward for the country.

Dr.Razeen Sally says: “The Malaysian government has acknowledged that the country is caught in a middle income trap and various policies have been announced to escape this problem.  Liberalisation is imperative if Malaysia is serious about moving forward.  There is a need for more serious thinking around what I call as the ’21st century trade policies’ which is defined by integration into global value chains and higher level of unilateral liberalisation. While trade pacts like the TPP, Malaysia-EU FTA and RCEP are useful tools to catalyse liberalisation, we must more actively look into areas where countries can unilaterally liberalise without waiting for other countries to do it first.  There are certainly lots of potentials in Malaysia, especially as Malaysia becomes the Chair of ASEAN next year, and I look forward to exploring these issues Malaysia with friends at IDEAS.”

Commenting on this appointment, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of IDEAS says: “The economic liberalisation agenda envisioned by the New Economic Model has not been implemented consistently. The Prime Minister may be trying his best to take the country towards liberalisation but it is obvious that many parts of society, especially his own party, is not yet fully supportive of his nobel vision.  I hope our Chair programme can become a platform for serious conversations to take place on these issues, including on the ongoing trade negotiations like the TPP as well as the currently stalled Malaysia-EU FTA.  Everyone at IDEAS is really proud to have Dr.Sally with us.  He is a world renowned expert in the field of trade policies and I am sure we will benefit tremendously from his guidance.”

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IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion.  Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals. For more information, please visit http://ideas.org.my/

 

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Media enquiries:

IDEAS (+60-3) 6201 8896/ 8897

Sri Murniati, unie@ideas.org.my

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