Barter Trade Discussed At Brunei Bimp- Eaga Meeting
Kota Kinabalu: The planned resumption of barter trade in January was among issues discussed at the BIMP-EAGA Senior Officials meeting and 22nd BIMP-EAGA Ministerial meeting in Kuala Belait, Brunei.
“What this means in general the SMEs and traders alike will gain momentum and we expect economies will improve in the following months.
“Both manufacturing and agri produce will gain momentum in sales particularly in the festive season coming where major commodities such as glutinous rice, sugar and flour in great demand,” said BIMP-EAGA Business Council (BEBC) Sabah Chairman Carl Moosom.
It was complimented with both signing the non-conventional sized ships Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the Asean Transport at Bangkok earlier.
It also announced the importance in connectivity and the role played by Malaysian government in ensuring the Kudat-Buliluyan ferry service would finally take off sometime in 2019. The exact date had yet to be determined.
Several key priority projects would boost the region’s potential wealth in line with the Asean power grid proposal to make electricity accessible to its more than 70m population.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had indicated their study on such issues are ongoing and would submit to relevant BIMP governments to be taken up as priority infra projects.
“Movement of goods and people were also reported. We are now seeing BIMP-EAGA becoming a package rather than a destination of sort.
“This is welcoming and we also invite all industry players to explore this region with its coral triangle spans as far as to Papua New Guinea, one can simply say this is the diving mecca of the world!”
It said BIMP-EAGA encouraged the steadfast economic growth despite global conditions. The combined real GDP of BIMP-EAGA grew at 5.7pc reaching US$287.3 billion in 2017. BIMP-EAGA recorded improvement in trade balance which rose to 39.2pc at US$ 54.7 billion.
In terms of GDP at current prices, the EAGA trade in goods is at US$102.7 billion. The total EAGA export is at US$79 billion. Tourist arrivals increased to 88.2 million with a growth rate of 6.7pc. Realized and approved investments reached US$13.92 billion in FDI and US$6.98 billion in domestic investments.
The attendees from Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and host country Brunei took note of the progress of BIMP-EAGA cooperation, especially achievements under the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 (BEV 2025) and discussed ways to implement it more effectively.
“Recognising that the 22nd Ministerial Meeting precedes the Summit in June 2019 and the 25th anniversary of BIMP-EAGA, we considered concrete actions towards realizing a resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and economically competitive sub-region. “We urge all the BIMP-EAGA stakeholders to accelerate project implementation focusing on results to improve the lives of our people. We reinforce the importance of a results-based monitoring and evaluation system to assess effectiveness of BIMP-EAGA development at macro, sector and project levels,” said Carl.
Witnessing the signing ceremony from Malaysia were Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Minister of Economic Affairs, Malaysia; Datuk Snowdan Lawan, assistant Minister of Youth and Sports, Sarawak; Kenny Chua, assistant Minister of Finance, Sabah and Dato’ Sri Hj Amir Hj Hussein chairman of Labuan Corporation.
Sabah was represented by Datuk Susan Chang BEBC Sabah advisor; Carl Moosom, BEBC Sabah chairman; Junzuenn Basalan BEBC Sabah executive secretary and chairman Keningau district; NK Foo BEBC chairman KK district; James Ibrahim BEBC Chairman Kudat district; Wong Thart Hin BEBC Sabah chairman Tawau district; Evelyn Charlie BEBC Sabah Council member chairman SCE Cluster; Dr. Kan Nip BEBC council member chairman tourism cluster (east) and Robert Penggai under Tawau SCE.
The meeting was attended by Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, Minister of Foreign Affairs II, Brunei Darussalam and Dato Dr. Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister at The Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II who co- chaired the meeting. – Lorena Binisol