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PIA Press Release

Best practices, success stories among BIMP-EAGA's untold secrets

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (23 October) -- For over a decade of cooperation among the four countries of BIMP-EAGA region there are already several successes that had happened yet several sectors would want to know what these best practices are.

Mindanao Business Council chair Vicente Lao who is also active in trading within the EAGA region disclosed in a press conference on Monday at the Marco Polo Hotel after the opening of the BIMP EAGA Investment Conference he said that these successes are happening only that they are not publicized.

"Because the business sector do it silently which brought positive results in the course of cooperating with each other," he said.

Earlier Mindanao business leader Joji Ilagan Bian said there has to have an account on the successful models of the cooperating countries and key players could perhaps put out a study on the strengths and weaknesses and find ways to improve mechanism so that movement and trading could proceed.

Lao without detailing the successes however said the players had realized that trading among the four countries is not an advantage.

He said there is now a realization that efforts must be towards consolidation where the BIMP EAGA countries are moving to the new direction in trading to the world.

He said the four countries help out with their weaknesses and with networking and convergence they could bring their product to the international market.

But Engr. Merly Cruz, assistant secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said intra-trade is not totally eliminated among the member countries because consolidating is also trading among each other. And consolidation could also be done virtually and it could happen even without the infrastructure.

She said through consolidation it is also knowing what product is abundant and how big the volume for them to supply the global market.

"Consolidation could also be done virtually and it could happen even without the infrastructure although there is a requirement to consolidate physically because there are products to move and traffic to serve," she stressed.

The BIMP EAGA Investment Conference (iCon) is one mechanism that would allow key players bring out issues that will be elevated to the Senior Officials meeting.

Cruz said the holding of the iCon will signal the way and the process as well as the content on what BIMP EAGA will be doing regularly.

She said this will expand the consultation process to all stakeholders as well as put in new strategies and cooperation such as the convergence of the academe as well as research intervention.

"We wanted new ideas as well as encourage other sectors to participate in order for the BIMP EAGA region to go ahead," she said.

Cruz said with the assistance of donor countries through support and technical assistance there are some successful models that became their guide even as she said that their exposure to the successes of other cooperation like in the EU allowed them to put in innovation as well as new directions.

Bernado Vega, representing Indonesia who is also the deputy chair of the BIMP EAGA Business Council said their participation to the Icon is for them to find ways and "quick wins" that would revive trade and raise initiatives or agreements to the level of trading.

He also said that several government officials are joining the conference among the local government units in Koronadal, South Cotabato to also find out what could be done on the existing agreement in the Philippine EAGA as there were several sister agreements already made among the sub regions.

He said their local government units are interested to revive the efforts of the LGUs and the business sector. (PIA XI) [top]

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