TOURISM EXEC DEFENDS BIMP EAGA MARKET
East ASEAN Growth Area Tourism chair Mary Ann Montemayor said Economic Secretary Romulo Neri was quite mistaken about BIMP-EAGA being a “wrong economic partner ” for Mindanao.
“It takes a while to achieve the gains that we have now and what we really
intend to do achieve,” Montemayor said.
Montemayor was the latest government executive to cry foul over Neri’s
statement that Mindanao could be better off with having China, Japan, Koreaand
Australia as economic partners than the “poor sub-region” of BIMP-EAGA.
Last Friday, Mindanao Economic Development Council information chief Romeo
Montenegro insisted that Mindanao was on the right track in having Malaysia,
Indonesia and Brunei as economic partners.
Neri, chief of the National Economic Development Authority, said Wednesday
there is not much trade to be expected within BIMP-EAGA since this subregion
“is equally poor as we are.”
“It is good for public relations with the three other neighboring countries, but there is really not much for Mindanao in the BIMP-EAGA,” Neri said.
Montemayor said Neri’s observations are not entirely correct.
She said trade and tourism between Mindanao and the three neighboring
countries of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia have picked up since the idea
caught fire in the 90s.