smaller Giving of Token November 29 2016 1

PHILIPPINE-MALAYSIA TIES Secretary Datu Hj. Abul Khayr Alonto, BIMP-EAGA Philippine signing minister and MinDA chairperson (left) hands over a token of appreciation to Dato Sri Devamany Krishnasamy,deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department of Malaysia during the closing ceremony of the BIMP-EAGA 20th Ministerial Meeting held recently in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines. More than 300 EAGA representatives convened during the event to discuss priority programs and socioeconomic projects aimed to enhance trade, tourism, and investments within the sub-region.


PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – The Philippines assumed the chairmanship of the Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) during the 25th Senior Officials meeting (SOM) held recently at the Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa here in the city.

Philippine Senior Official to the BIMP-EAGA Arturo Boncato Jr. accepted the responsibility from Malaysian Senior Official Dato’ Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, commencing the yearlong chairmanship of the Philippines to all EAGA-related activities, meetings, and other functions.

The Philippine chairmanship of the sub-region coincides with the country’s chairmanship of the ASEAN in 2017, which is also the 50th founding anniversary of the 10-member regional bloc.

“I hope the Philippines will look into the progress with our partners and continue the good relationship that we have managed to establish," said Abdul Majid.

He added that during Malaysia’s chairmanship, the draft of the BIMP-EAGA Vision (BEV) 2025 document was completed and shall be formally presented to the EAGA senior officials.

The BEV 2025 serves as the successor document to the BIMP-EAGA Implementation Blueprint 2012-2016. The new document aims to shape EAGA’s future as a more relevant sub-grouping that is fully integrated into the ASEAN Economic Community. It supports and complements to the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together roadmap.

“It is the best roadmap so far in the history of EAGA and it is a privilege for the Philippines to take the lead in pursuing the sub-region’s goals in line with the theme to develop a Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable and Economically Competitive (RISE) BIMP-EAGA by 2025,” said Boncato.

Boncato, who is an assistant secretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry added that one of the strengths of this new EAGA framework is that it anchors its goals on the sub-region’s baseline data.”

“It is a challenge and opportunity for the Philippines to take this chairmanship during the pilot year of the implementation of the BEV 2025,” he added.

The 25th SOM is the largest annual gathering of EAGA’s high-level officials with almost 300 delegates from the four member countries attending the event to tackle the sub-region’s priority programs and socioeconomic projects.

The EAGA officials and ministers also met with development partners such as the Asian Development Bank, Japan, and China to strengthen both administrative and financial collaborations in support to achieving the goals of the sub-region.

A BIMP-EAGA Investment Networking Session was also held alongside the high-level meetings, as a venue to enhance the role of the private sector in spurring development in the sub-region.

The BIMP-EAGA was organized in 1994 as a sub-regional cooperation primarily intended to spur development in the lagging sub-economies of the member countries by enhancing trade, tourism, and investments. Mindanao and Palawan are the two focus areas of the Philippines in the sub-regional grouping. #

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