The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has urged for the “resurrection“ of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippine East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) as a way to shore up the region’s recovery from the pandemic, particularly of Mindanao.
Benedicto Yujuico, PCCI president, told the SCAn Networks Hun E-Forum on Tuesday, Mindanao, which has experienced hardships due to war and poverty and compounded by the new coronavirus disease 2019 may turn the region into a growth area.
“Mindanao is an area which is a reflection of what the other areas in our country should do as well,” Yujuico said.
He said opportunities abound in halal trade which can earn billions of US dollars in potential revenues for Mindanao.
Yujuico said BIMP-EAGA could be a basis for joint cooperation between the countries making up the group.
“Maybe we have to resurrect the importance of BIMP-EAGA, where Mindanao will do business with Malaysia, with Sabah, Indonesia and so on and so forth. Because it’s an opportunity that has been actually lying there. But not nothing much has been happening… in theory (BIMP-EAGA) is very, very good. But for the past many many years, (there has not been any) significant accomplishment. For one reason or the other, the promise is not fulfilled, the potential is there but the actual implementation is not there,” he added.
The Build, Build, Build is also key for Mindanao’s growth.
“(Build, Build, Build) is a very important program for us to develop our infrastructure, generate revenue, to generate employment,” he said.