KOTA KINABALU: Economic activities under the East Asian Growth Area (EAGA) remain relevant and must be accelerated, says Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
He said the existing platform under the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP-EAGA) initiative should be capitalised through further collaboration and cooperation among the member countries.
He added that in Malaysia, particularly Sabah, there is great potential for trans-boundary cooperation in priority sectors: transport, energy and power interconnection, trade and investment, ICT, agro-industry and fisheries, tourism, environment, social-cultural, and education.
"This fits well with the strategic direction of my government’s five-year development plan from 2021, Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ), which I launched early this year," he said in his welcoming remarks at the inaugural BIMP-EAGA Energy Online Conference and Exhibition (BECE) on Monday (Aug 23).
His speech was delivered by Sabah Special Envoy to BIMP-EAGA Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Hajiji said the SMJ implementation was in line with the main framework of national development through the 2030 Shared Prosperity Vision.
He was confident that BIMP-EAGA, which is Asia’s largest regional grouping aimed at accelerating economic development, improving export competitiveness, and enhancing the attractiveness of the East Asia Growth Area to local and foreign investments, has even greater prospects in the coming years.
"Malaysia is committed to continue supporting and enhancing cooperation," he said.
Hajiji noted that the BIMP-EAGA development path to 2025 was guided by long-term strategic thrusts: enhancing connectivity within and outside BIMP-EAGA; establishing the subregion as a food basket in Asean and the rest of Asia; promoting BIMP-EAGA as a premier tourism destination; ensuring sustainable management of natural resource; and promoting people-to-people connectivity through social-cultural studies and education.