BIMP-EAGA cluster meeting in Davao City a success

DAVAO City — The recent two-day meeting of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Cluster leaders at the Marco Polo Hotel here was a success.

BIMP-EAGA SMED Cluster Chair Nazrullah B. Manzur said strategic plans for the development of the SMEs were discussed including trade facilitation and cost of doing business in the sub-region.

Manzur, also the Regional Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI 9) in Region 9, said the meeting was attended by 25 representatives from the four member-countries.

It was agreed that the BIMP-Facilitation Center (BIMP-FC) must be provided with information relevant to doing business like cost of labor and utilities, available infrastructure facilities, and available land area for production and the incentives given to investors.

BIMP-FC head Susanna Chew said a compilation of these information and details must be maintained.

“The BIMP-FC must have a compilation of the incentives given by each of the member-countries to the investors to intensify information dissemination to the public. As of now, we don’t have this,” she said.

The project shall be implemented by 2013.

Manzur said starting next year, the SMED Cluster will be renamed Trade and Investment Facilitation Cluster which will be under the strategic pillar of enhancing connectivity within BIMP-EAGA as well as with other regions.

Manzur added the cluster’s chairmanship will be transferred to Indonesia by then.

The Implementation Blueprint of the cluster will be released anytime once it’s finalized, incorporating the comments and recommendations discussed during the meeting here, he said.

The document spells out the detailed plans of the cluster on trade and investment facilitation, he added. (PNA)

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