|About the BIMP-EAGA North Sulawesi Secretariat|
History of BIMP-EAGA
In 1992, then President Fidel V. Ramos of the Phillipines proposed the expansion of economic cooperation in the border areas with Indonesia and Malaysia and with Brunei Darussalam in a major economic and diplomatic initiative in the ASEAN.
The leaders of Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia favorably received this Philippine initiative that eventually led to the creation of a subregional growth area name the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA. BIMP-EAGA was formally launched on March 24, 1994 in Davao City in Mindanao, Philippines.
The growth area initially comprised the entire sultanate of Brunei Darussalam; the province of East and West Kalimantan, and North Sulawesi in Eastern Indonesia; the federal state of Sabah and Sarawak, and the federal territory of Labuan in Eastern Malaysia; and the islands of Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines. Indonesia later expanded its participation to include all provinces in Kalimantan and Sulawesi, the Maluku Island chain and Irian Jaya. With the exception of Brunei Darussalam, the component areas of EAGA share common characteristics of considerable geographic distance from their capital states and resource based economies that are less developed than the capital regions. BIMP-EAGA, thus, was a shared strategy of the four participating governments in addressing the imbalance in economic development. It should be understood that the prevailing economic stability, optimistic forecasts for higher sustained economic and political growth and the growing trend towards regional economic integration in ASEAn prompted and encouraged the four governments to undertake the paradigm shift that focuses on the social and economic development of the less developed and more remote territories.
The vision of BIMP-EAGA is the realization of socially acceptable and sustainable economic development, which leads to the full participation of EAGA in the ASEAN development process. its immediate goal is to increases trade, investments and tourism in the subregion by facilitating the (i) freer movement of people, goods and services; (ii) development of vital infrastructure in the subregion; and (iii) coordination of the management of ecosystems and common resources to ensure sustainable development. The short to medium term goal is to ensure that EAGA becomes a major location in ASEAn for high value-added agro-industry and natural resource-based manufacturing and high-grade tourism, and in the longer term to ensure that non-resource based manufacturing is established in the subregion.
EAGA's strategic objective is to accelarate economic development, improve export competitiveness and enhance the attractiveness of EAGA to local and foreign investment based on (i) economic complementarities, (ii) shared natural resources, information and technology, (iii) join action to cater to an increase in demand, (iv) join action to overcome constraints, and (v) the specialization and regionalization of production. To achieve its goals, the founders of BIMP-EAGA recognized the need for strong public-private sector partnership in development and agreed that growth of the subregion must be market-driven and private sector-led.
In 1996, ADB carried out an investigative Study in the BIMP-EAGA to identify the existing and potential opportunities for economic cooperation in the subregion. The study shared the optimism for the future of the subregion as it identified a wide range of economic complementation. Efficiently harnessed, these economic complementation opportunities could transform BIMP-EAGA into a major investment destination in ASEAN for agro-industry, natural resource-based manufacturing, and tourism. The result of the Study is formulation of an EAGA Development Strategy that involves more than 150 policy, program, and project initiatives that would enable EAGA to achieve its full potential.