Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Officials from ASEAN and BIMP-EAGA have pledged to boost stronger
linkages among sectoral working groups to strengthen further areas of
collaboration and explore the untapped economic potentials in some
sub-regional groupings within the economic region.

BIMP-EAGA
stands for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth
Area, a sub-regional economic cooperation within the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

According to a statement by the
ASEAN Secretariat on March 8, their meeting also aimed to prepare for
the upcoming BIMP-EAGA Summit in Brunei next month.

Speaking at
the event, Director of Finance, Industry and Infrastructure Directorate
of the ASEAN Secretariat Somsak Pipoppinyo said the BIMP-EAGA
cooperation has in recent years initiated activities that help its
member countries develop and link with ASEAN goals, including the
implementation of a number of priority projects under the Master Plan on
ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC).

“It can also serve as a platform for
Narrowing the Development Gap (NDG), another mechanism within ASEAN
that pushes for mainstreaming social development issues and project
implementation to help reduce various forms of development gaps among
member countries where pockets of underdevelopment still exist,” he
added.

However, Pipoppinyo noted that the BIMP-EAGA must
double its efforts in strengthening areas of collaboration to keep up
with the increasing growth of fellow sub-regional groupings.

“With
BIMP-EAGA’s nearly 20 years of sub-regional cooperation experience and
with the ASEAN Economic Community setting in by 2015, there is indeed
much that both EAGA and ASEAN can work on together under shared
strategies and beyond borders to realize the shared ASEAN vision,” said
Romeo Montenegro of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the
Philippine coordinating office for BIMP-EAGA.

The ASEAN Economic
and Socio-Cultural Community Blueprints has recognised the BIMP-EAGA as
one of the sub-regional groups to receive support from the Initiative
of ASEAN Integration and Equitable Economic Development, a mechanism
that aims to achieve the seamless flow of trade, investment, and people
within the ASEAN region by 2015.-VNA

By vivian