Davao City – Businessmen and officials from Mindanao and Sabah, Malaysia explored possible joint-venture collaborations in agribusiness, tourism, logistics and the manufacturing sector during the recent strategic planning meeting of the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East ASEAN (BIMP-EAGA) growth area at the Marco Polo Hotel here.
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) described the business-to-business meeting between traders of two countries as a major step toward further strengthening business and trade relations among member nations of BIMP-EAGA.
“We welcome this initiative from the business sector of Sabah, since this will greatly contribute to our efforts of enhancing trade and investments within BIMP-EAGA,” said MinDA Undersecretary Janet Lopoz.sabah
Lopoz added that the visit was a great opportunity for Mindanao traders and businessmen to showcase their local products to their EAGA counterparts.
Lopoz reported that more than 20 business representatives from Mindanao met with the 25 Sabah counterparts and discussed potential areas for collaboration particularly in banana production, halal restaurant, coffee shop franchising, logistics, tourism, construction, and other agriculture-based commodities.
“We expect succeeding business sessions to take place within the year to allow for the finalization of partnerships and joint ventures that were developed from these business-matching sessions,” Lopoz further explained.
A businessman from Palawan also joined the meetings to explore partnerships in tourism development between Palawan and Sabah.
Lopoz said that Mindanao and Palawan are the two focus areas of the Philippines in the BIMP-EAGA sub-regional grouping.
The delegation from Sabah was led by Datuk Roselan Johor Mohamad, the BIMP-EAGA Business Council Chairman who encouraged more business groups from the sub-region to actively participate in inter-EAGA business ventures.
Johor Mohamad said that EAGA’s private sector plays the crucial role of stirring the sub-region’s business climate.