KUCHING: Transport ministers and high ranking officers from member countries of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines’ East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) have concluded their deliberation on the Protocol to Amend the Memorandum of Understanding on Expansion of Air Linkages. A joint statement by the BIMP-EAGA Transport Ministers said the protocol would be signed in conjunction with the 22nd Asean Transport Ministers’ Meeting in Manila, Philippines next month. The protocol aims to provide more flexible approaches to facilitate air services on existing routes as well as encourage the opening of new routes. “We urge the transport officials to work closely with the airlines to ensure the full implementation of this protocol.” The joint statement was released after the 11th BIMP-EAGA Transport Ministers’ Meeting (11th BIMP-EAGA TMM), here today. The highlights of the joint statement was read out by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who represented Malaysia and chaired the meeting. The BIMP Transport Ministers added they were pleased with the steady progress in the implementation of various measures planned under the Implementation Blueprint 2012-2016. The Blueprint was formulated to improve transport connectivity in BIMP-EAGA. “We also welcome the finalisation of the “BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025″ that will establish a resilient, inclusive, sustainable and economically competitive subregion to narrow the development gap,” the statement said. Liow, when elaborating on the protocol, said Malaysia plans to open up new air routes in Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah as well as Mulu in Sarawak for BIMP member countries once it has been signed.
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