ADB reaffirms support for BIMP–EAGA

Published October 28, 2021, 1:17 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reaffirmed its support for a rapid economic recovery, infrastructure development, and regional cooperation.

At the 14th Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP–EAGA) Leaders’ Summit on Thursday, Oct. 28, Masatsugu Asakawa, ADB president said the Manila-based institution is “honored” to serve as the region’s development advisor.

“ADB supports BIMP–EAGA’s work, aligned with ASEAN revitalization, to maintain open markets, strengthen supply chains, support vibrant economic zones, and promote digital integration,” Asakawa said.

The BIMP–EAGA summit was attended by Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and President Rodrigo Duterte.

Since the start of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, ADB has provided $875 million through its Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility to help Indonesia and the Philippines procure and deliver safe and effective vaccines.

ADB also provided an additional $1.5 billion to each country in quick-disbursing loans to support their COVID-19 response. The bank support includes infrastructure connectivity projects in locations key to regional cooperation in Indonesia and the Philippines.

BIMP–EAGA was established in 1994 and has expanded transport networks through land, sea, and air; cross-border energy projects; and initiatives that contribute to more vibrant trade.

Under the BIMP–EAGA Vision 2025, the program aims to develop a more competitive manufacturing sector with value-added production; establish the subregion as a food basket for Asia through sustainable agriculture and fisheries; and position BIMP–EAGA as a well-connected, multi-country tourism destination.

ADB’s work aligns with the BIMP–EAGA Vision 2025 and its focus on connectivity, economic corridor development, tourism, and environment.

ADB has provided assistance to enhance project management systems, institutional capacity, and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and subregions.

ADB is also working with BIMP–EAGA governments to identify transformative recovery strategies and manage regional cooperation in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.