AS THE sub-regions of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines – East Asia Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) have some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world, in the “Heart of Borneo” and in the “Coral Triangle” as well as being host to three World Heritage sites, more efforts need to be undertaken in the area of conservation and preservation of the environment, to ensure that those areas continue to exist for the benefits of the future generations.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, who said this in a titah at the 10th Bimp-Eaga Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, called for more support from international organisations, such as the Asian Development Bank, to undertake joint efforts that will enable the member countries to play a better part in mitigating climate change.
His Majesty yesterday afternoon attended the Closing Session of the 24th Asean Summit; and the 10th Bimp-Eaga Summit.
The summit was held at the Emerald Hall, Myanmar International Convention Centre and chaired by Dr Haji Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia.
His Majesty noted that this year marks the 20th year of Bimp-Eaga cooperation and was pleased to hear about the good progress of the cooperation under the four strategic pillars of Bimp-Eaga – Connectivity, Food Basket, Tourism and Environment – which made positive impacts on the people. It is important to ensure the benefits are sustainable and further developed in the future.
His Majesty touched three key areas for improvement. Firstly, His Majesty believed that connectivity remains the key to economic development in the sub-region. The completion of the Pandaruan Bridge connecting Brunei and East Malaysia, the upgrading of the various ports in Mindanao and the increase in aviation services between Eaga points clearly demonstrate the resolve to facilitate the flow of trade, investment and the movement of people in the region.
His Majesty further added as host and chair of this year’s Bimp-Eaga Ministerial Meetings and as well as the Bimp-Eaga Transport Ministers Meeting, Brunei Darussalam will organise a joint ministerial session between the two, in order to look into what more can be done to enhance connectivity in the sub-region. Brunei Darussalam will also conduct a joint consultation between the minister with the tourism stakeholders to identify and address some of the challenges in attracting more tourists and promoting eco-tourism in the sub-region.
His Majesty said Bimp-Eaga should also support more people-to-people interaction. The socio-cultural activities under the cooperation will complement the efforts to create better livelihoods for the people.
His Majesty also took the opportunity to express his appreciation to the Asian Development Bank for the support and assistance in the various initiatives and looked forward to the continued support of the Asean Secretariat, in complementing sub-regional efforts to realise the Asean Community next year.
Finally, His Majesty expressed his great pleasure working with the Indonesian President over the years and that he will be missed. His Majesty wished him the best for his future endeavours.
- Borneo Bulletin
(12 May 2014)