The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) has been making considerable progress with its ‘Vision 2025.’ Today, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the Philippines is seen as the next key economic player in the BIMP-EAGA sub-region.
The 1st Bangsamoro Business Congress was held in Cotabato City from January 17 to 19, 2023. During the opening of this three-day event, the MinDA quoted the words of (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim’s earlier statement. He had said that the region was positioned as a growing investment hub both in the BIMP-EAGA and the Philippines.
Since the BARMM was established as a new political entity, the Bangsamoro Business Congress was the first biggest business gathering of the private sector. At least 300 business leaders, chambers of commerce and industry representatives, local entrepreneurs, international development partners, government agencies, and other stakeholders joined the gathering.
The three-day gathering enabled the participants to engage in business-to-business networking and learning sessions. The theme of this gathering was ‘Strengthening Partnerships Towards a Resilient Bangsamoro Economy.’
It was aimed at providing a strong platform for long-term partnerships and associations between the BARMM business drivers and their counterparts based in the BIMP-EAGA and several other regions, including the global market. A sisterhood agreement was also forged between the business councils of BARMM and Mindanao during the event.
Maria Belen Acosta, the MinDA Secretary, lauded BARMM for offering tremendous economic benefits to Mindanao and the Philippines. This was made apparent by the 7.5 percent economic growth rate in 2021.