ADB president calls for more subregional cooperation

Kathmandu, November 19:

Haruhiko Kuroda, Asian Development Bank (ADB) president today called for increasing subregional cooperation in Southeast Asia as economic interests in the region converge.

Kuroda’s comments came during his participation in the leaders’ meetings for the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines — East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), stated a press release.

During the fourth BIMP-EAGA Summit, Kuroda noted that the four countries signed

a key subregional transport agreements earlier this year granting additional traffic rights to

major international airports, facilitating the cross-border movement of buses and coaches and strengthening sea route cooperation.

“Promoting the seamless flow of trade and tourism across the subregion’s borders is a major step in economic integration,” he said.

“Accelerating this flow will bring significant economic benefits – sooner – to all BIMP-EAGA countries,” Kuroda added.

In a joint statement, the four leaders welcomed ADB’s initiative in establishing a BIMP-EAGA environment programme in the core of their Coral Triangle Initiative, aimed at enhancing the exceptional land and marine biodiversity of the subregion.

A technical assistance grant of $1.5 million is being processed to start off the programme.

BIMP-EAGA was launched in 1995 as a key strategy of the group for addressing the social and economic development of their less-developed and more remote territories.

Kuroda noted that BIMP-EAGA is now shifting from planning to implementing projects.

The sub-regional integration is one of the issues in development of states.