2 priority infra projects identified for ARMM

THE TOP officials of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) meeting in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan identified two priority projects in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to intensify trade.

In the data bared by Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) executive director Janet Lopoz, the two projects are the ARMM Regional Economic Zone and Tawi-Tawi Freeport Zone.

These were presented during the 25th Senior Officials Meeting and 20th Ministerial Meeting of the member countries of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) at Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

“We hope that our proposal for the establishment of special economic zones in the region possibly with Malaysian investors can ease cross-border trade restrictions and provide for more secure cross-border channels,” said ARMM Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) chair Ishak Mastura in a statement.

The cross-border initiative, Mastura said, is timely as the Philippines would take over the chairmanship of BIMP-EAGA and Asean next year.

In the statement of ARMM RBOI, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has already “made the establishment of special economic zones and the revival of the Bimp-Eaga trade and investment groupings as among the pillars of his Mindanao economic development strategy.”

The three-day meetings of the senior officials and ministers, which ended yesterday, were aimed to review and assess the priority programs and projects. They also discussed the proposed new development blueprint.

The blueprint, Bimp-Eaga Vision 2025, is anchored on the theme to become a resilient, inclusive, sustainable and economically competitive growth area.

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