‘Support one another to reap benefits’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
AN INDONESIAN official on Thursday underscored the importance of enhancing cooperation in various aspects among the four-member countries of BIMP-EAGA in a bid to support the development of ASEAN Economic Community.
To accomplish this, Hj Abubakar Almahdali, head of industry and trade office of Central Sulawesi said that BIMP-EAGA member countries should walk hand-in-hand under the mutual benefit principle.
“If we embrace each other as members of BIMP-EAGA, we are a more solid and stronger economic community,” said Hj Abubakar, on the sidelines of the ‘Flavours of BIMP-EAGA: Culture & Food Expo 2016’ held at Airport Mall in Berakas.
Established in 1994, the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), aims to increase trade, investment and tourism in the region.
“A strong economic cooperation of BIMP-EAGA will significantly contribute to the development of ASEAN,” he added.
He said that in enhancing such coordination, member countries should also be in accordance with the international trade rules and regulations stipulated in the respective country.
“The Central Sulawesi administration extends our commitment to coordinate with our counterparts in this sub-regional economic cooperation,” he said.
In Indonesia, BIMP-EAGA covers 10 provinces on the islands of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua.
He said located in the heart of the Sulawesi Island, Central Sulawesi – which has an area of more than 61,000 square kilometers with over 2.8 million of population – produces high potential of fisheries resources, cocoa, coconut, palm oil, rattan and nickel.
By participating in the five-day expo, he expressed hopes that investors from Brunei, Malaysia and Philippines will explore opportunities to establish cooperation such as in the agriculture and fishery sector in Central Sulawesi.
He said in the capital city of Central Sulawesi Province namely Palu, the local government has built an area of 1,500 hectares for special economic zones (SEZs), which provides incentives and facilities to attract foreign investors to operate their businesses. Facilities and infrastructures have been improved to accommodate the needs of people and spur economic development.
“Through this expo, we are not only introducing our SMEs (small-medium enterprises) products but we are also seeking for future trade relations with our counterparts,” he said.
The Brunei Times