KOTA KINABALU: Bimp-Eaga Business Council (BEBC) Sabah and its Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) counterpart have proposed for a policy to facilitate seamless trade.
BEBC Sabah chairman Carl Moosom and BEBC BARMM chairman Redentor Lauddin @ Popoy said this in a joint statement in conjunction with a trade mission to Sabah.
The delegation led by Tawi-Tawi Provincial Governor Yshmael Sali, is in town for a four-day visit from Monday (Oct 11) following BEBC Sabah's invite, to discuss on measures to revive economies of Sabah and Philippines' Tawi-Tawi following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sabah and BARMM is separated by a boat ride from Sandakan port to Taganak island in Tawi Tawi.
"Security issues remain the single main point that slows down our trade negotiations year in year out especially at any Bimp-Eaga meetings.
"Apart from connectivity, this will be one of the key elements to be discussed during the trade mission here, and could be a starting point for better solutions to ongoing illegal immigrants from the Philippines in Sabah.
"We would like to propose the two governments to seek an organic trade policy specific to Sabah and BARMM, based on mutual respect on security and sovereignty, so seamless trade is achieved and not disrupted," they said in the joint statement issued on Monday (Oct 11).
On a business note, they noted that Tawi Tawi was a big producer of seaweed accounting for over 50% of the Philippines' total seaweed production.
"BEBC Sabah and BEBC BARMM is desirous to see this investment of Tawi Tawi into Sabah to downstream activities at one of the industrial parks available, (with POIC Lahad Datuk earmarked) as well as utilise its international ports to the world market," they added.