BARMM launches barter trade in Tawi-Tawi

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COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 19 July)—Officials of the Bangsamoro government and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) have jointly launched the Bangsamoro Barter Trade in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Tuesday.

A boat full of fish docks at Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

With the formal rebirth of barter trade in the area, economic activities are expected to take center stage between BARMM and Mindanao on one hand, and the country’s oldest trading partners—Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia—on the other.

The BARMM Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism (MTIT) spearheaded the launching in Bongao town with MinDA and Tawi-Tawi provincial government officials.

The Philippines is a major player of the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area). The BIMP-EAGA, launched in 1994, aims to boost growth in trade, investments, and tourism through new intra-region shipping routes and air links as well as power interconnection projects.

Other key areas of cooperation include agribusiness, tourism, the environment, and socio-cultural education.

“We see the revival of the traditional barter trading system as a tool in improving our economies and generate employment among our constituents in island communities,” BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim said in his message during the launching.

The implementing rules and regulations had been laid down through the Bangsamoro Economic Zone Authority (BEZA).

According to MTIT Director-General Rosslaini Alonto-Sinarimbo, the revival of the famous barter trading system will provide inclusive environment and more business opportunities that will eventually help propel economic growth in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the entire Bangsamoro region.

“We are working on a maiden voyage of sea vessels that will transport goods from BARMM to BIMP-EAGA member economies, and the entry of goods from these countries to bankroll the resumption of barter trading will commence soonest,” she said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)

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