REGIONAL sub-grouping BIMP-EAGA and the Northern Territory of Australia (NT) have agreed to strengthen their linkages and participation in the development of trade, investment and tourism.
BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) while NT is a BIMP-EAGA+1 development partner.
With the aim of ‘re-connecting’ and ‘re-engaging’ with BIMP-EAGA, NT discussed previous involvement and areas of cooperation, particularly to ignite discussions on its fifth strategic pillar—the socio-cultural and education aspect of sub-regional cooperation—taking full advantage of the opportunities between the two areas last November 17 to 20, 2015 in Darwin, Australia.
“The meeting paved the way for a reinvigorated cooperation between BIMP-EAGA and NT, resulting concretely into more social, cultural and educational exchanges, considering the rich cultural heritage and educational excellence of both sub-regions,” said Philippine senior official for BIMP-EAGA and DTI Undersecretary Prudencio Reyes Jr.
It can be recalled that BIMP-EAGA tapped Australia’s Northern Territory as its first development partner in 2004, offering extensive opportunities for the sub-region and accelerating the growth of less developed EAGA areas. Initiatives include infrastructure development, trade and investment cultivation, and economic growth security.
Senior officials and ministers of BIMP-EAGA and officials of Asian Engagement, Trade and Investment of the Northern Territory of Australia participated in the recent meeting in Darwin.
Aside from Australia’s Northern Territory, BIMP-EAGA also holds the support and participation of the Asean Plus 3 countries: China, Japan and Korea—toward the fulfillment of its long-term vision of an integrated East Asian Community.