What is BIMP-EAGA?
The Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, or BIMP-EAGA, is a cooperation initiative established in 1994 to spur development in remote and less developed areas in the four participating Southeast Asian countries.
The subregion covers the entire sultanate of Brunei Darussalam; the provinces of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku and West Papua of Indonesia; the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in Malaysia; and the island of Mindanao and the province of Palawan in the Philippines. These areas are geographically far from the national capitals, yet strategically close to each other. These states and provinces account for over 60% of the land area of the BIMP-EAGA countries; yet they make up less than 20% of their population and 18% of the labor force.
Through BIMP-EAGA, the four countries want to generate balanced and inclusive growth as well as contribute to regional economic integration in the ASEAN Economic Community. They want to boost trade, tourism, and investments by easing the movement of people, goods, and services across borders; making the best use of common infrastructure and natural resources; and taking the fullest advantage of economic complementation.
Thanks to strong ownership and commitment, as demonstrated by the financial, human and technical resources put in by the member governments, BIMP-EAGA has grown over the last 27 years.
Despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, the subregion's macroeconomic fundamentals remain robust. The BIMP-EAGA economy contracted by 3.5% in 2020 with the subregion’s combined gross domestic product (GDP) at $322.8 billion. Before the pandemic, the subregion posted a 6.9% growth in GDP. Total trade in goods fell by 11.4% to $95.3 billion last year from $107.6 billion because of weaker demand.
Foreign direct investments however rose by nearly 32.0% to $12.8 billion in 2020 from $9.7 billion in 2019. Domestic investments also increased to $9.2 billion last year, up 33.3% from $6.9 billion in 2019.