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Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA)

The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) initiative was launched in 1994 as a cooperation initiative by the four BIMP-EAGA nations to accelerate economic development in areas that are geographically distant from their national capitals, yet in strategic proximity to each other, in one of the world's most resource-rich regions that includes the Heart of Borneo and Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion.

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 70 million.

The Program

BIMP-EAGA cooperation aims to increase trade, tourism, and investments by:

  • Facilitating the free movement of people, goods, and services;
  • Making the best use of common infrastructure and natural resources; and
  • Taking the fullest advantage of economic complementation.

The BIMP-EAGA initiative is envisioned to be private sector-led and market-driven.

To achieve its development goals, the BIMP-EAGA cooperation is anchored on six strategic pillars:

  • Connectivity
  • Food Basket
  • Tourism
  • Environment
  • Trade and Investment Facilitation
  • Socio-cultural and Education

ADB Assistance to the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA)

As the Regional Development Advisor to BIMP-EAGA, ADB provides assistance at the strategic, operational, and administrative levels.

BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025

ADB supported the preparation of the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 (BEV 2025), adopted by the Leaders at the 12th BIMP-EAGA Summit on 29 April 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The BEV 2025 vision is “Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable and Economically competitive (R.I.S.E.) BIMP-EAGA to narrow development gap”. It has a pipeline of Priority Infrastructure Projects estimated at US$21 billion. ADB will provide technical and financial support, and will closely collaborate with BIMP-EAGA working groups, clusters, the BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Centre (BIMP FC) and other subregional mechanisms, to implement this Vision.

Transport Connectivity

An ADB project upgrading roads in Kalimantan will support connectivity between Malaysia and Indonesia in the West Borneo Economic Corridor, while two road projects in Mindanao will support connectivity in the Greater Sulu Sulawesi Corridor. ADB will also provide assistance to Mindanao to update its road Master Plan, opening new trade and investment opportunities in the region. ADB is also undertaking an assessment of a road link between Sabah and North Kalimantan.

Power Sector

ADB provided support for the Trans Borneo Power Grid interconnection between Sarawak and Kalimantan, one of the priority projects under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which was commissioned in 2016. ADB has also completed a study on proposed power interconnections in Borneo Island and prepared studies for three priority projects.

Trade Facilitation

ADB provided technical assistance to support BIMP-EAGA’s efforts to harmonize customs, immigration, quarantine, and security (CIQS) rules, regulations, and procedures in its major ports and land border crossings. In addition, ADB has completed a study on Land Transport Facilitation that provides recommendations for improving the implementation of BIMP-EAGA land transport MOUs in the areas of insurance, transit, authorized economic operators, and common permits to cross borders. Two studies on the Economic Corridors: Business Perceptions about the Investment Climate and the Investment Opportunities in Corridor Value Chains were also completed in 2017.


ADB organized a community-based ecotourism (CBET) training in Kuching, Sarawak in 2015 which was attended by 34 participants from Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. The training program was designed to provide a broad pathway for advancing competencies to develop and implement strategic CBET interventions. Participants engaged in simulation role play, undertook an active learning exercise during a field trip to two of Sarawak’s primary CBET projects, Kampung Annah Rais and Kampung Benuk.


ADB completed a study to assess BIMP-EAGA climate change vulnerability, which included climate change vulnerability maps for the subregion and provided recommendations on climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. ADB will continue to support environment-related projects in BIMP-EAGA through its Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) program, and encourage exchange of information between the BIMP-EAGA environment cluster and CTI initiatives.

The Green Cities Initiative for BIMP-EAGA was launched in 2017. A Green City Action Plan (GCAP) for Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi Province, Indonesia was also prepared in 2017, with ADB support. The countries are in the process of nominating 1-2 cities for inclusion in the program.

Statistical Database

ADB is facilitating the establishment of a BIMP-EAGA database. Two Joint BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Meetings of the Subregional Statistics and Database were organized in 2015 and 2016. The statistical database would enable the countries to systematically compile and organize data at the subregional level on key economic indicators. The database was handed over to the subregional secretariat in 2017.

Capacity Building Support

ADB assisted in the development of a project manual as a guide for project identification and implementation and organized a training workshop in Penang.

ADB also organized several capacity building programs for BIMP-EAGA officials in 2016 and early 2017:

  • Workshop on Cross-border E-commerce: Towards Seamless Connectivity on 9-11 March 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Tourism Management– Enhancing People-to-People Connectivity for Inclusive Growth Training on 24-29 April 2016 in Guilin, People’s Republic of China
  • Economic Corridor Development for Competitive and Inclusive Asia on 17-26 August 2016 in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand
  • Regional Power Market and Cross-border Interconnections Training on 25-30 September 2016 in Seoul, Korea
  • Special Economic Zones as Catalysts for Economic Corridors, Value Chains and Production Networks Training on 17-22 October 2016 in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
  • Social Protection on 16-20 January 2017 in Manila, Philippines
  • Tourism Management on 25-30 April 2017 in Guilin, People’s Republic of China
  • Workshop on Cross-border E-commerce: Towards Seamless Connectivity on 16-18 May 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand

Increasing Cooperation with ASEAN

ADB organized an ASEAN, BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Land Transport Facilitation Consultation Meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia. Encouraged by the favorable outcome of the first dialogue, ADB plans to organize a roundtable on the ASEAN Vision 2025 and complementarities with the new strategic documents of BIMP-EAGA and other subregions in 2018.