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The history of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) begun as a main agenda item in the high level talks of then President Fidel V. Ramos with his BIM counterpart Heads of States in 1992.  The endorsements and confirmations of then Indonesian President Suharto (September 1993), Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam (November 1993), and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad (February 1994) paved the way for the BIMP-EAGA Inaugural Senior Officials’ Meeting and Ministers’ Meeting (SOM/MM) in Davao City, Philippines on 24-26 March 1994
The Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is a sub-regional economic cooperation designed to spur economic development in the lagging sub-economies. Established in 1994, BIMP-EAGA covers the underdeveloped and geographically remote areas in the four-member countries. It covers the entire sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, nine provinces in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the island chain of Maluku, and Papua (Indonesia); the federal states of Sabah and Sarawak, and the federal territory of Labuan (Malaysia); and Mindanao (26 provinces) and the province of Palawan (Philippines). 
With the end goal of narrowing the development gaps among its member states, the BIMP-EAGA economic cooperation focuses on four strategic pillars:
  1. Enhanced Connectivity
  2. Food Basket Strategy
    • This pillar aims to facilitate cross-border movement of goods, services, and people by ensuring all the necessary physical infrastructure and software development are in place, to achieve land, sea, and air connectivity within the sub-region.
    • This strategy was conceived to sustainably utilize the natural richness and biodiversity of BIMP-EAGA’s resources to contribute in narrowing the development gap, alleviating the poverty, and promoting food security in the sub-region.  
  3. Tourism Development 
    • Prioritizes community-based ecotourism (CBET) in order to fully showcase and conserve the natural and cultural resources of the sub-region, while also helping develop the lagging communities of the member countries.
  4. Environment
    • Taking off from the member countries’ commitment to sustainable development, this pillar ensures an integrated protection and management of the sub-region’s natural resources and biodiversity, by focusing on environment-friendly programs and initiatives.