Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and South Korea discussed the latter's commitment to supporting development of the former's region through a donation of US$4 million.

The fund, granted through the BIMP-EAGA and Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (BKCF) mechanism, will be used to expedite economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

"This donation is utilized to fund research, labor intensive programs, and capacity building projects," Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs' official, Edi Prio Pambudi, who led Indonesian delegations, noted through a statement on Saturday.

BKCF's role had drawn a positive response from people in the region, as is reflected from the number of donation proposals being received, he pointed out.

"For the first-term funding with US$1 million, the US had received 67 proposals from the entire member countries of BIMP-EAGA," he revealed.

The BIMP-EAGA lauded the Korean government and expects that the support can be bolstered and expanded for various projects, he remarked.

These projects comprise development of the electrical vehicle (EV) industry, logistics traffic bolstering, economic activity improvement, and labor intensive industrial development in sub-regions, he stated.

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The BKCF projects should consider and contribute to BIMP-EAGA and 2025 ASEAN Vision.

In this case, all stakeholders can actively participate in utilizing BKCF in priority sectors. Development of the energy sector, specifically of renewable energy, should also be watched out for.

At the end of the second virtual meeting, officials from each of the countries support the second-term funding worth US$3 million.

They also agreed on the importance of transparency and accountability in fund distribution in all projects that they agreed on.

During the meeting, Pambudi also invited BIMP-EAGA and Republic of Korea officials to attend a series of BIMP-EAGA Ministerial-Level Meetings scheduled in November 2022 in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

The meeting was also participated by Malaysian (Policy) Director General Zunika Binti Mohamed and Philippines' Mindanao Development Authority Executive Director Janet Lopoz.

The other participants comprised Brunei Darussalam's Senior Special Duties Officer in the Trade Division Norhayati Haji Ismail, and Republic of Korea's ASEAN and Southeast Asian Affairs Director General Eui-Hae Cecilia Chung.

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Translator: Sanya Dinda S, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Suharto
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