KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 16 out of the 69 priority infrastructure projects (PIPs) under BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 (BEV2025), worth an estimated US$22.7 billion (RM93.9 billion), have been completed while the remaining projects are in various stages of implementation.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said this augurs well with efforts to strengthen trade relations among Asean member states, as emphasised by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the 34th Asean Summit in Bangkok recently.
“The Prime Minister also urged all member countries to encourage connectivity in all aspects, from digital infrastructure, regulations and control, as well as community relations to create a ‘Seamless ASEAN’,” he said in a reply to an oral question from Awang Hashim (Pas-Pendang) in the Dewan Rakyat here today.
The BEV2025, a regional cooperation under the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, is positioned to be a competitive and sustainable region through various strategies that focus on agriculture and fisheries, green technology use in manufacturing, and tourism sector development.
Azmin said BEV2025 would open doors for each country to use their respective comparative advantages to increase cross-border trade.
On the trade war between the United States and China, Azmin said it had opened a window of opportunity for Malaysia to increase its commodity exports to China, particularly palm oil, which is an alternative to soybean oil and corn oil.
“In March 2019, Malaysian companies signed agreements worth close to US$900 million to supply 1.62 tonnes of palm oil to China. From January to April 2019, palm oil exports from Malaysia to China grew almost 255,000 tonnes valued at RM1.4 billion,” he said.
Meanwhile, Azmin said under the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) cooperation, 41 Physical Connectivity Projects (PCP) were listed with an estimated cost of US$47 billion, out of which five projects were completed while the remaining projects were in various stages of implementation.
"The PIP and PCP initiatives will increase the connectivity and become the catalysts for trade activities, as well as population mobility for the economic benefits of the people and nations regionally.
“The government is confident these efforts will be able to ensure Malaysia remains on positive economic growth foundation towards achieving its target of a developed nation, inclusive and resilient,” he said. - Bernama