Home » Customs & Trade » Intensified BIMP-EAGA collaboration eyed

MEMBER countries of the BIMP-EAGA region have agreed to intensify collaboration in customs, immigration, quarantine and security services to help speed up sub-regional trade cooperation among the Philippines’ southern neighboring countries.

Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales, who represented the Philippines in a recent meeting in Brunei, explained that key players in the sub-regional trade alliance committed to concretize close coordination among frontline government agencies with the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

He added that all member countries have agreed in almost all matters to facilitate growth and progress in the BIMP-EAGA.

One-stop documentation centers have already been established in the ports of Zamboanga, Mindanao-Sandakan, Sabah, Glan, Saranggani- Bitung, Sulawesi, Nangga Badau, Kalimantan-Kuching, Sarawak and Sungai Tujuh, Sarawak- Kuala Lurah, Brunei.

In order to accelerate streamlining initiatives, officials also agreed to identify “;championÓ countries to guide key players in the BIMP-EAGA to pursue various initiatives related to the development of the sub-region.

The Philippines was designated to handle Customs; Brunei Darussalam, immigration; Indonesia, quarantine; and Malaysia, security.

Morales, who was appointed as the overall chair of the task force, said that each sector will draw up their respective action plans for 2007 in preparation for the BIMP-EAGA Senior Officials Meeting in October.

Meanwhile, Asian Development Bank officials presented proposed assistance in selected pilot ports and border crossings. These include strengthening of information, formulation of agreements and demand-driven training, and capacity building programs.

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