In 1992, then President Fidel V. Ramos of the Philippines proposed a major economic initiative in ASEAN: the expansion of economic cooperation among the border areas of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
This proposal met with a favorable response from the leaders of the three other countries, and eventually led to the creation of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA.
BIMP-EAGA was formally launched on March 24, 1994, in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines.
EAGA is comprised of the following focus areas: the entire sultanate of Brunei Darussalam; the provinces in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua in eastern Indonesia; the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in Malaysia; and Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines.
Covering a land area of 1.54 million square kilometers and a population of some 70 million, BIMP-EAGA is perhaps Southeast Asia’s last frontier. Its focus areas have not yet fully participated in the rapid growth which has taken place in many other areas of Southeast Asia, and its potential for further development in trade, investments, and tourism remains vast and varied.