ARMM hopes to revitalize Sabah
s-border trade in BIMP-EAGA Summit
(Cotabato City, November 25, 2016). The ARMM economic growth and linkage regional cabinet cluster through its head, Regional Board of Investments chairman Ishak Mastura, announced its plan to send a delegation to the upcoming Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Phil
ippines East ASEAN Growth Area Summit (BIMP-EAGA) next week in Puerto Princesa, Palawan to push for a revitalized Sabah cross-border trade with the island provinces of ARMM, namely, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
The announcement was made at the sidelines of the ARMM’s year-end Strategic Visioning and Planning Workshop.
In the preceding months of the year, ARMM’s cross-border trade with Sabah significantly lessened after the string of Abu Sayyaf-related kidnappings and piracy in the Sulu Sea that prompted the Malaysian state of Sabah to restrict the cross-border trade to big steel-hulled vessels and reduce the use of wooden-hulled “kumpit” in the trade.
“We already received our invitations to the BIMP-EAGA Summit next week from MINDA (Mindanao Development Authority) chairman Abul Khayr Alonto and we hope that our proposal for the establishment of special economic zones in the region possibly with Malaysian investors can ease cross-border trade restrictions and provide for more secure cross-border trade channels”, Mastura said.
President Duterte has made the establishment of special economic zones and the revival of the BIMP-EAGA trade and investment grouping as among the pillars of his Mindanao economic development strategy.
Mastura explained that with the Philippines taking over as chairman of both the BIMP-EAGA and the ASEAN next year the ARMM cross-border trade initiative is very timely.
For his part, ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, who hails from Basilan, said that the long-term solution to the security problems in the island provinces of the region is to provide increased economic opportunities and quality livelihood to the people, and his administration’s cross-border trade initiative is a bold step in that direction.
SOURCE: ( RBOI )
Nov 26, 2016 @ 21:18