BANGKOK — President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the establishment of a facilitation center within the East Asean Growth Area (EAGA) involving Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Panelo said the President made this push when he participated in the 13th BIMP-EAGA Summit, held on the sidelines of the ASEAN 34th Summit held here, on Sunday.
He said in the meeting that Duterte called a “reunion of old friends”, the President said the facilitation center would be a fully functioning secretariat that would make the sub-regional cooperation bloc “more responsive and resilient in view of the dynamism within the region.”
Panelo said the President also pushed for the realization of the regional food basket strategy to maximize each member-countries economy.
He said Duterte also batted for the development of the halal industry into a global industry and improve air linkages and sub-regional trade through the speedy adoption of a common standard in the operation of non-convention ships.
Panelo said Duterte made these comments even as he wanted the shared borders secured from terrorism and illegal drugs through a deeper cooperation on maritime security.
“President Duterte asked his fellow ASEAN leaders to ensure the full and timely implementation of the Priority Infrastructure Projects under the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025. The President particularly asked Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to fast track the negotiations on the barter trade system between the Philippines and Malaysia to create livelihood and generate income along their border areas,” he added.
Panelo said the establishment of a barter system would be “highly beneficial to our countrymen residing in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”
“The President’s commitment to bring a comfortable and secure life for all Filipinos was apparent in all his talks with foreign leaders and heads of states. He also stressed the value of maintaining fairness in the dealings with other nations,” he added. (PNA)