BIMP-EAGA senior officials and ministerial meeting opens
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (25 October) -- The 15th Senior Officials Meeting and 12th Ministerial Meeting (SOM/MM) open on Wednesday where it highlights the turn-over of chairmanship from Malaysia to the Philippines.
Philippine official representative to the BIMP EAGA assistant secretary Merly Cruz of the Department of Trade and Industry in her brief remarks said that there has to be concrete steps in order for the region to move forward.
Malaysian senior official for BIMP-EAGA Madam Norani Ibrahim stressed to move towards borderless growth and to focus on resources to bring into fruition the development targets.
She said the four countries must work on narrowing the development gap even as she said that they should push for the operation of the BIMP-EAGA facilitation center because it is crucial in achieving the development targets.
The SOM/MM is an annual meeting among Senior Officials and Ministers in the BIMP-EAGA where strategic directions for this regional cooperation are discussed and agreed in consensus.
The annual meeting is hosted by member countries on a rotation basis where some 200 foreign and local delegates participating.
The senior officials for the BIMP-EAGA in attendance other than Asec Cruz are Hon. Tutiaty Wahab, Brunei Darussalam Senior Officer, Hon. Firman M.U. Tamboen, Indonesia Senior Officer and Madam Norani Ibrahim, Malaysia Senior Official.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte in his opening remarks read by Councilor Isidro T. Ungab acknowledged Davao City's important stake in the success of the BIMP-EAGA initiatives.
He said by taking the BIMP-EAGA Development Road Map it will raise development in the city to a level where most economically-challenged citizens will feel in their lives the taste of true development.
He told the BIMP-EAGA member countries that their tasks are a mission of real service and true governance for the people.
"Your mission here is not easy as it is a heroic mission of charting the road to development of our countries and our people," he said.
The Mayor offered to the visitors as he encouraged them to enjoy Davao City's treasures of products and services, the culture and traditions and friendly people.
The SOM/MM specific objectives are crucial in attaining the deliverables set-forth by the BIMP EAGA Heads of States namely, assess the status of developments of the directives of the 3rd BIMP-EAGA Leaders' Summit, address any related issues and concerns in the implementation of the various cluster flagship programs and projects; discuss current undertakings and implementation of other joint cooperation with EAGA's development partners like ADB, GTZ, NT and China.
It will also discuss preparations for forthcoming 4th BIMP-EAGA Leaders' Summit which will be held in conjunction with the ASEAN Summit in November 2007 in Singapore. (PIA XI) [top]