Davao del Norte, October 24 (PIA) - - Five countries within the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) converged yesterday (October 23) in Davao City for the opening of the 2nd BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Business Leader’s Conference and Trade Fair.
BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines – East Asian Growth Areas; while IMT-GT means Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand – Growth Triangle.
Around 650 business leaders and 300 exhibitors assembled at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City to promote regional cooperation for trade, investments and tourism in the coming ASEAN integration in 2015.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos, one of the founders of BIMP-EAGA and conference’s keynote speaker reminded the business leaders that the qualities governing all of ASEAN were unity of purpose, solidarity in values and teamwork in nation building.
“We must act as one family, one world on Mother Planet Earth,” Former Pres. Ramos stressed.
Ramos recognized the cooperation of the nation’s leaders like Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, the late Indonesian president Mohammed Suharto and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in creating the BIMP-EAGA twenty years.
“Together, we envisioned a peaceful trading, fishing, educational and tourism area without any borders, protocol and special barriers; and so today, we have seen the formation of this dream,” he said.
Ramos also said that in moving forward with the two sub-regional groups present officials and business leaders should look at the rhythm and the movements that have worked and have not worked for its growth and development.
He also encouraged the participants to implement and enhance certain personal characteristics.
“We should be caring, sharing and daring for other, for the ASEAN and eventually for the whole global family of nations,” he said.
BIMP-EAGA was launched in March 1994 in Davao City to accelerate economic development in focus areas of the participating countries; while the IMT-GT was formed in 1993 with similar goals of promoting trade, investment and tourism. (PIA11, Michael Uy)