ASEAN plays key support role in BIMP-EAGA
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (23 October) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) plays a supporting role in helping promote cooperation such as the BIMP EAGA framework.
Dr. Soeung Rathchavy, deputy secretary general of the ASEAN in a press conference at the Marco Polo Hotel on Monday said the body helps provide technical assistance and funding support on priority projects of the BIMP-EAGA.
But she said that all sub regional frameworks are in moving stage of development.
She said all have common concerns and challenges and one of which is on funding issues as well as important building blocks that need to be achieved.
Insofar as studies made on best practices with the BIMP-EAGA she said there several studies made in narrowing development gap.
Soeung said the sub-regional experience is to narrow the gap among the ASEAN countries even as she said there could be studies made along BIMP-EAGA that were conducted by some institutes.
Meanwhile Soeung during her remarks at the opening of the BIMP-EAGA iCon said that the ASEAN takes cognizance to narrowing the development gap of the ASEAN and it will work towards how BIMP-EAGA and the ASEAN can team up to reduce income disparity and ensure equal opportunity for growth.
She said 2015 is an important milestone because by that time free trade agreements with key trading partners will be in place.
She also said that the ASEAN Secretariat and BIMP-EAGA officials have held several stakeholders and donors.
The ASEAN she said will assist the BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Centre and to enhance the BIMP EAGA cooperation framework.
She noted the inclusive strategies that the BIMP-EAGA has developed where it recognize the private sector through a special status.
She also said that the BIMP-EAGA will be pilot testing key economic-related ASEAN agreements with the transport sector being the initial area of focus.
Other future areas could include mutual recognition arrangement for skilled workers in tourism, cross-border cooperation on issues such as customs, immigration, quarantine and security, joint ventures in agriculture and agro-based industries, and the development of SMEs. (PIA XI) [top]