Not wrong partner, MEDCO defends BIMP EAGA

Engaging with the BIMP East Asean Growth Area (EAGA) is a right track for Mindanao, the Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco) said amid a contrary
pronouncement from the government chief socioeconomic planner.

“The BIMP EAGA engagement is on the track even if it is composed of the member countries’ poor regions,” Romeo Montenegro, Medco information and communication chief, said Friday.

Montenegro admitted that the regions included in the growth area are poor but he said it doesn’t make it a wrong partner. As he debunked the statement of Sec. Romulo Neri of the National Economic Development Agency, who described the sub-region a wrong economic partner “for its lack of complementation among members”, Montenegro said that “just because Mindanao and the rest of EAGA is poor, we cannot work to be at
par with the rest of the capitals (cities) in the BIMP area?”.

Neri cited the absence of an economic “big brother” to generate investments to the “little brothers”. Instead, he said, the right direction points to China, Korea, Japan and Australia as the “natural economic partners”.

Montenegro said Medco respected Neri’s opinion. “But it doesn’t change the national government’s stand over engagements with the BIMP EAGA,” he said. He said he has to assure the Asian Development Bank, a BIMP EAGA stakeholder, who he said also reacted to Neri’s pronouncements.

Montenegro said BIMP EAGA also looked at those markets Neri had mentioned but he said the subregion was consolidating its products to be directed to a larger market, including the four countries.

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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