The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) initiative was launched in 1994 as a cooperation initiative by the four national governments to close the development gap across and within the EAGA member countries as well as across the ASEAN-6 member states.
BIMP-EAGA 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 Mindanao and the province of Palawan in the Philippines. The subregion covers a land area of 1.6 million square kilometers with an estimated population of 69 million.
BIMP-EAGA cooperation aims to increase trade, tourism and investments with and outside the subregion by:
- Facilitating the free movement of people, goods, and services
- Making the best use of common infrastructure and natural resources
- Taking the fullest advantage of economic complementation
The BIMP-EAGA initiative is envisioned to be private sector-led and market-driven. Its goal is to accelerate economic development in focus areas which, although geographically distant from their national capitals, are in strategic proximity to each other, in one of the world's most resource-rich regions that includes the Heart of Borneo (HoB) and Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME).
To achieve its development goals, the BIMP-EAGA cooperation is anchored on five strategic pillars: Connectivity, Food Basket, Tourism, Environment, and Trade and Investment Facilitation.
The highest guiding and decision-making body is the Leaders’ Summit convened once a year. The principal mechanism for consultation between the participating countries is the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and the Ministers Meetings (MM) that meet at pre-agreed dates and venues. A national secretariat for each member country coordinates in-country and subregional activities while the BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Center acts as the subregional secretariat that coordinates subregional activities.