Overcoming these challenges will open opportunities for BIMP-EAGA to build more cooperation...
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has outlined three important measures for expediting and bolstering cooperation in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

The first measure is doubling efforts to plan and implement various concrete projects, collaborating to strengthen regional supply chains, as well as conducting reskilling and upskilling for business players.

"The second one is revitalizing (transportation) connectivity through reopening or creating new routes to support trade and tourism. Rebuilding the tourism sector is a priority to make it resilient and sustainable," the coordinating minister said, according to a statement issued on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the third measure is accelerating the energy transition and security in the ASEAN sub-region, including developing potential energy business models for the future.

Hartarto further said that the members of BIMP-EAGA need to pay attention to three challenges while preparing the sub-region’s post-2025 vision.

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The challenges include increasing collective competitiveness, developing sub-regional agglomeration-based projects, as well as building a sustainable sub-region to support the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he expounded.

"Overcoming these challenges will open opportunities for BIMP-EAGA to build more cooperation, such as with RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity), as part of the regional integration agenda," he said.

While chairing the 25th BIMP-EAGA Ministerial Meeting in Pontianak city, West Kalimantan province, he said that optimizing the potential of BIMP-EAGA by taking advantage of the sub-region’s comparative advantage over natural resources is key for expediting the realization of their 2025 vision.

All the ministers from the four countries who attended the meeting agreed that sub-regional cooperation remains vital for ensuring sustainable and inclusive regional development.

They further agreed that BIMP-EAGA must remain adaptable and agile in the midst of various emerging global crises, such as technological disruptions and climate change.

Furthermore, the ministers took note of Brunei Darussalam's proposal to host a Facilitation Center (FC) of BIMP-EAGA Secretariat in Bandar Seri Begawan and committed to speeding up the resolution of the issue.

"I think it is time for us to give Brunei Darussalam the opportunity to host the BIMP-FC," Hartarto added.

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Translator: Muhammad Heriyanto, Uyu Liman
Editor: Suharto
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