GOVERNMENT officials and business leaders from the Brunei Darrusalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) convened in Davao City for a business forum in a bid to promote trade and investments opportunities in the sub-economic region.
The forum, dubbed as the BIMP-Eaga Trade and Investment Forum, was initiated by the Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Cluster led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It pushed for active participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in creating more jobs.
Some 200 delegates composed of TIF Cluster heads and representatives, members of BIMP chambers of commerce and business councils, local government officials, national government agencies, officers from local and international organizations, among others participated in the forum.
Maria Belenda Q. Ambi, Philippine head of delegation to TIF Cluster and DTI Davao director, in her speech, said the forum was expected to provide venue where preliminary discussions for possible partnerships and joint ventures can be initiated and revisited.
"With this we hope to contribute to the BIMP-Eaga goals of increasing trade, investments and tourism within the Eaga focus areas, and mobilizing the private sector as the engine of growth with governments providing a facilitative environment for investments, trade and people," she said.
The forum was a complementary activity to the two-day 3rd BIMP-Eaga TIF Cluster meeting starting today at the Seda Hotel Abreeza.
Ambi also said that TIF Cluster in pursuing its goals is guided with five strategic focus, these are:
1. Enhancing connectivity, which entails among others infrastructure development, and supportive policy environment and mechanisms,
2. Developing the subregion as food basket for Asean and Asia given our abundant resources and capacities 3.Promoting Bimp-Eaga as apremier regional tourism destination emphasizing the sub-region’s rich biodiversity and culture 4.The pursuit of sustainable management of environment and 5.Promotion of cultural and educational linkages.
"The TIF Cluster gathers our private sector prime movers, sectoral institutional experts and other resource persons to facilitate information access and exchange on trade and investment opportunities as can be derived from the identified potential and existing programs and projects within these five strategic focus," Ambi added.
Meanwhile, DTI with Davao Ecocrafts Association, Inc. with Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) and Department of Tourism (DOT) is set to launch today a one-stop facility of the Bimp-Eaga’s four countries products dubbed as Ecofusion in a bid to promote trade, tourism and investment opportunities.
“The facility will house products from Mindanao and Palawan as well as investment projects and tourism destinations, we will also showcase products there from Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei,” Ambi said adding that it will also be a venue that will provide data and information to investors, tourist and other stakeholder.
Ecofusion will be located at the 3rd floor level of Abreeza Ayala Mall. The center is guided with the three major development principles of Bimp-Eaga commitments; these are the ecological balance, eco-tourism and economic development.