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[L-R] Malaysia National Secretariat Head and Deputy Director Mr. Paarteeben Subramanian of Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Brunei Darussalam National Secretariat Head and Senior Special Duties Officer Hadja Norhayati Ismail of Ministry of Finance and Economy, Philippine Signing Minister and MinDA Chairperson Sec. Maria Belen S. Acosta, Indonesia’s National Secretariat Head and Assistant Deputy Minister for Regional and Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation of Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Philippines’ National Secretariat Head and MinDA Executive Director Usec. Janet M. Lopoz, and Philippine’s National Secretariat Alternate Head and MinDA Deputy Executive Director ASec. Romeo M. Montenegro.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Aiming to strengthen the responsiveness of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) economic cooperation, officials committed to recalibrate efforts and targets in the context of the new normal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was among the highlights of the welcome message of Philippine Signing Minister and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairperson Sec. Maria Belen S. Acosta during the Opening Ceremony of the BIMP-EAGA Vision (BEV) 2025 Mid-Term Review (MTR) Task Force Meeting and National Secretariats’ Meeting (NSM) held on 20-21 July 2022 at Century Park Hotel, Manila.

“I believe we should be seriously looking into this meeting as we recalibrate our ways of doing things in the BIMP-EAGA. We have the next three years to be able to achieve this and to make a significant contribution to our respective countries’ economic recovery efforts,” Acosta added.

During the meeting, Asian Development Bank (ADB) as BIMP-EAGA regional development advisor also presented the BEV 2025 initial assessment areas and preliminary findings that Clusters and Working Groups of the member-countries have to comprehensively consider for 2023-2025 undertakings.

Based on the ADB’s findings, there are refinements and expansions in current strategic priorities, particularly in enhancing health systems, strengthening human security, maximizing the potential of intra-ASEAN market and broader economic integration, accelerating inclusive digital transformation, and advancing toward a more sustainable and resilient future.

Meanwhile, MTR meeting Chair and Philippine National Secretariat Head USec. Janet Lopoz of MinDA noted that though the cooperation has achieved its sectoral targets and priorities in the past five years, there is also a need to consider how implementation mechanisms address grassroots community development in the member-countries’ focus areas.

“Our communities are really banking on our efforts to make life a little easier and comfortable, and thinking about our people in our communities also fires us up every step of the way,” Lopoz said.

Participated in by key officials and representatives from the member-countries, the MTR meeting aims to assess the results delivery and overall relevance of the cooperation program after the first 5-year of BEV 2025 implementation covering the period of 2017 to 2021.

The final MTR Report will be a key deliverable for the 25th BIMP-EAGA Ministerial Meeting (MM) scheduled in November 2022.

The MTR is implemented by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and BIMP-Facilitation Center (FC) in close coordination with the member-countries' National Secretariats (NS), and with technical and strategic guidance from the BIMP-EAGA Senior Officials (SO).

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Philippines’ National Secretariat for BIMP-EAGA Head and MinDA Executive Director Usec. Janet M. Lopoz (center), together with Alternate Head and MinDA Deputy Executive Director ASec. Romeo M. Montenegro (right) and International Relations Chief Jonathan Miral (left), chairs the BIMP-EAGA Vision (BEV) 2025 Mid-Term Review (MTR) Meeting and National Secretariats’ Meeting (NSM) on 20-21 July 2022 at Century Park Hotel, Metro Manila.

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