KOTA KINABALU, Aug 23 — Sabah has much potential in transboundary cooperation in the priority economic sectors earmarked by the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.
Hajiji said the priority sectors earmarked by BIMP-EAGA are transport, energy and power interconnection, trade and investment, information, communication, and technology (ICT), agro-industry and fisheries, tourism, environment as well as social-cultural and education.
“This fits well with the strategic direction of government’s five-year development plan from 2021, Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) which was launched early this year,” he said in his welcoming remarks at the inaugural BIMP-EAGA Energy Online Conference and Exhibition (BECE) here today.
His speech was delivered by Sabah Special Envoy to BIMP-EAGA Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Hajiji said the SMJ’s three main thrusts of agriculture, industry, and tourism will focus on economic growth, including in areas such as human capital, people’s well-being, and green infrastructure.
The chief minister said the conference’s theme “BIMP-EAGA Energy Sector – Opportunities and Challenges” was apt as it aims to update industry players on the challenges the oil and gas industry faces as well as developments in the power and energy infrastructure industry.
Hajiji said he is confident that BIMP-EAGA will accelerate economic development, improve export competitiveness and enhance the attractiveness of the region to local and foreign investors in the coming years.
He noted that the BIMP-EAGA development path to 2025 has been guided by long-term strategic thrusts of enhancing connectivity within and outside BIMP-EAGA and establishing the subregion as a food basket in ASEAN and the rest of Asia.
BIMP-EAGA is also promoting the region as a premier tourism destination, ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and promoting people-to-people connectivity through social-cultural and education.