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PIA Press Release
2009/04/23

Market studies on EAGA agri-fishery food products mulled

Puerto Princesa (23 April) -- The Small and Medium Enterprise development (SMED) cluster ofthe Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is eyeing the conduct of market studies on agriculture or fishery-based food products, in response to the recent BIMP-EAGA Leaders' directive of making the sub-region a 'food basket' for ASEAN.

The conduct of the market studies has been identified as one of the priority actions during the 9th BIMP-EAGA SMED Cluster meeting held here recently.

The cluster has also considered facilitating business matching and market linking activities and other business development services to support project proponents of EAGA agriculture/fishery-based food products.

DTI Undersecretary Merly Cruz, Philippine Senior Official to the BIMP-EAGA, said that these efforts will form part of the overall directive of making BIMP-EAGA a food basket for ASEAN.

She said that the SMED Cluster and the industry players can formulate more specific objectives, which are based on the existing challenges or deliverables of a specific food product or project, while the value chain analysis can be used as a tool to effectively draw out potential projects.

She said that the cluster is eyeing the assistance of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) or the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) for the said study.

She also said that incentives should be given by the host country where the investment is located, adding that there will also be interventions on product development, marketing, financing and policy reforms.

Meanwhile, the Palawan Economic Development Council (PEDCo) said here recently that they will look into trade opportunities for cashew nuts from Palawan. PEDCo has also requested the assistance of the SMED Cluster to assist in linking Palawan live fish traders with buyers from other parts of Malaysia and Brunei.

The Palawan SMED Cluster meeting was noted by development partners and agencies for the active participation of the private sector and the local government.

"Palawan's role towards the development of EAGA is incontestable because it is one of the BIMP-EAGA focus areas, along with Mindanao, and the industry players play a more vital role to accelerate this development," Usec. Virgilio Leyretana, chairman of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo).

Palawan, through PEDCo, has recently earned a seat in the BIMP-EAGA Business Council (BEBC).

"We are privileged to be included in the business council and we thank MEDCo for its assistance and we hope to solicit MEDCo's support to the business initiatives that we will spearhead," Engr. Teddy Tiotangco, PEDCo President, said. MEDCo acts as the Philippine Coordinating Office for the BIMP-EAGA. (MEDCo/PIA XI) [top]

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