Davao ‘pilot city’ for China-BIMP-EAGA cooperation

Philippine Economic Managers and Build, Build, Builtd Team meet with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi in Davao City during his official visit to the Philippines in Davao City on October 29, 2018. MANMAN DEJETO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 30 Oct) – Davao will be a “pilot city” for China’s cooperation with Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) as it plans to scale up its partnership with the economic subregion, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang made the statement during the inauguration of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao on Sunday.

In a joint press conference at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao Monday with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Wang revealed China’s plans to increase its imports from the BIMP-EAGA member states.

“China will also enhance cooperation related to the BIMP-EAGA which we believe will be helpful for further development in Mindanao region,” he said.

He said enhancing their partnership with BIMP-EAGA can be a “new platform for China-ASEAN cooperation.”

BIMP-EAGA was founded in 1994 in Davao. Its focus areas include the entire sultanate of Brunei Darussalam; the provinces of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, West Papua and Papua in Indonesia; the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in Malaysia; and Mindanao and the province of Palawan in the Philippines.

Wang said Mindanao is an important link in China-Philippines cooperation and that he looks forward to increased interactions with the island to unleash its development potentials in the region.

He vowed to support the Philippines in regional affairs and expressed readiness to work on enhancing their country’s relationship with ASEAN and East Asia.

The Philippines coordinated for China-ASEAN relations as chair last year of the 10-country regional organization, he said.

“China will support Philippines in speeding up economic and social development. Philippines is an important link in the Maritime Silk Road,” he said.

Philippine and Chinese officials signed three bilateral documents after the meeting on Monday – Exchange of Letters for the Feasibility Study of the Davao River Bridge (Bucana) Project, RMB 50 million grant or P350 million for the Supply of Law Enforcement-Related Materials/ Equipment to the Philippines, and USD1-million (P53.6 million) grant assistance for the victims of typhoon Vinta in 2017. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)