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PIA Press Release

JAGS-CT keeps BIMP-EAGA vision with new sea link

GLAN, Sarangani (11 October) -- The opening of Glan-Tahuna-Bitung shipping services has realized one of the many flagship projects of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Indonesian and Philippine officials said.

"We are making history today and it is all because of our cooperation and commitment to actualize the vision of BIMP-Eaga," said Indonesian Consul General Ikon Mochamad Entjeng during the inaugural send-off Sunday at the port of Glan.

In the same tact, Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana relayed the "sincerest congratulations" of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the "realization of one of the many flagship projects in the BIMP-EAGA."

An Indonesian band performed as the 90-gross tonnage vessels M/L ALJAMAR left port to the cheers of local traders and government officials. The vessel was loaded with beauty soaps, Coca Cola products, activated carbon, bananas and mango products.

The maiden voyage, initiated by the Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle (JAGS-CT), followed a trade mission led by Governor Migs Dominguez to North Sulawesi three weeks ago.

JAGS-CT, now emerging as a vibrant economic cluster in southern Philippines, was formed in 2002.

"I hope this milestone will serve as an inspiration to work harder for a better JAGS-CT and a better BIMP-EAGA," Entjeng said.

The Indonesian consul said the Glan-Tahuna-Bitung sea link "will benefit our people from both countries, convey a multiplier effect and contribute to the progress of both regions."

Leyretana, chair of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), disclosed that the 12-year old BIMP-EAGA was bringing development nitiatives down to the level of the local governments units (LGUs).

This would allow LGUs and resident businessmen to "explore the opportunities that are lying dormant in BIMP-EAGA," he said.

Leyretana said the "idea into the clustering of the four countries was with the end in view to explore ideas on how to accelerate the development of the depressed and remote regions of the four countries."

The MEDCo chair said the success of JAGS-CT as a cluster "is one classic specimen of how easy things can be done if we pool our ideas, our talents in terms of convergence and cooperation."

Leyretana described the Glan-Tahuna-Bitung shipping services as one of the best practices that could be included in the annals of localgovernance. (Sarangani IO/PIA 12) [top]

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