Monday, February 22, 2016
By ACE JUNE RELL S. PEREZ
SOME 220 representatives from four-member countries of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) have confirmed participation in this year’s BIMP-Eaga Summit-Strategic Planning Workshop session, starting today until February 26 at the Marco Polo Hotel-Davao.
The four-day event will serve as the venue for participants to strategically plan the projects, programs and directions of the BIMP-Eaga as the implementation of the BIMP-Eaga Vision 2025 will start this year.
BIMP-Eaga Vision 2025 is a blueprint eyed to support and complement the Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together roadmap. It will also serve as the successor document to the Implementation Blueprint 2012-2016.
“The four-day event will be an avenue for member countries to finalize and consolidate the final inputs of the new BIMP-Eaga Vision 2025,” Undersecretary Janet Lopoz, executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) said.
Romeo Montenegro, director for investments promotions and public affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), for his part said that the Bimp-Eaga 2025 will be a successor document of the BIMP-Eaga 2012-2016.
The blueprint will still be anchored on the BIMP-Eaga pillars including tourism, agribusiness, connectivity, environment, education as well as socio- cultural, among other sectors.
Lopoz emphasized that it will be more challenging for the Philippines as it will be the next chair in the BIMP-Eaga starting September 2016.
“It is very timely that we are hosting the event because Philippines will also be an incoming chair of the BIMP-Eaga, sometime in September and it will be an extra challenge for us because we will be the chair at the time we will be implementing the new roadmap,” Lopoz added.
In a recent 19th BIMP-Eaga ministerial meeting in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, last December 10, ministers from the member countries said in a joint statement emphasizing that the ministers urged all BIMP-Eaga stakeholders, especially the private sector and the local governments, to share their views, inputs and projects that will generate economic growth and development in the sub-region.
“We welcome the formulation of the BIMP-Eaga Vision 2025 to develop a resilient, inclusive, sustainable and economically competitive sub-region. We endorse the guiding framework for BIMP-Eaga Vision 2025 and direct our senior officials to finalize it in time for the 12th BIMP-Eaga Summit,” read the statement signed by six ministers, three representing Malaysia and one each from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 23, 2016.