Four ASEAN countries to boost connectivity through BIMP-EAGA
The Jakarta Post
Four ASEAN countries have agreed to accelerate the construction of connectivity infrastructure through the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) in a meeting in Tarakan, North Kalimantan, held from Thursday to Sunday.
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said in Tarakan on Sunday that improved connectivity was important to boost cooperation among the three countries.
“Our target is to boost trade, investment, industry, tourism and micro, small and medium enterprises. They will bring benefits to the people,” he added as reported by kompas.com.
“The BIMP-EAGA contributes to strengthening cooperation under the ASEAN Economic Community,” Darmin said after the meeting on Sunday, adding that good connectivity was key to boosting the cooperation.
During the meeting, the four countries agreed to a number of priority infrastructure projects (PIPIs) worth US$21.4 billion for the construction of airports, seaports, roads, bridges and railways, Darmin added.
Speaking on the connectivity projects in Indonesia under the BIMP-EAGA, Darmin said, they included the Manado-Bitung toll road, Samarinda-Balikpapan toll road, border area development in West Sumatra, Bitung special economic zone, Bitung Port and Makassar Port.
Darmin said the four countries had agreed to establish two corridors – the West Borneo Economic Corridor and the Greater Sulu, Sulawesi Economic Corridor to ensure that the development focused on the aforementioned areas.
Other officials attending the meeting included Brunei Darussalam Foreign and Trade Deputy Minister Erywan Yusof, Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Minister Sri Devamany, Philippines’ Mindanao Development Minister Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto and North Kalimantan Deputy Governor Udin Hianggio. (bbn)
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