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Friday, March 31, 2023

BARMM eyed as next major eco hub: MinDA

DAVAO City – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is being eyed as the next key economic player in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia- Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) sub-region.

This came about after the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) noted on Wednesday BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim’s earlier statement declaring that the region is positioned as a growing investment hub in the country and the BIMP-EAGA.

“As the first biggest business gathering of the private sector after the establishment of BARMM as a new political entity, we position the Bangsamoro region as a major economic player in BIMP-EAGA,” the MinDA quoted Ebrahim as saying during the opening of the 1st Bangsamoro Business Congress held in Cotabato City on Tuesday.

At least 300 local entrepreneurs and business leaders, chambers of commerce and industry representatives, government agencies, international development partners, and other key stakeholders joined the Jan. 17-19 gathering.

With the theme “Strengthening Partnerships Towards a Resilient Bangsamoro Economy,” the assembly aims to provide a concrete avenue for long-term partnerships and linkages between BARMM business drivers and their counterparts in other regions, BIMP-EAGA, and the global market.

MinDA Secretary Maria Belen Acosta lauded BARMM for “ushering tremendous economic benefits” to Mindanao and the nation as a whole, manifested by the 7.5 percent economic growth rate in 2021, the second among all regions in the country.

“This remarkable leap is a strong dividend of peace demonstrated in the improved regional peace and security, clear and cohesive policy agenda, and established BARMM systems and institutions,” she said.

During the business congress, a sisterhood agreement was forged between the Mindanao Business Council and the BARMM Business Council (BBC), witnessed by MinDA and the BARMM’s Ministry of Trade, Investment, and Tourism.

BBC chairperson Ronald Hallid D. Torres, who officially opened the gathering in Cotabato City, emphasized the council’s economic significance to the thriving BARMM business sector.

“This congress is our first multidimensional and sectoral approach in creating a proactive space for business growth in the Bangsamoro region,” Torres, a lawyer, said.

The ongoing three-day business assembly enables the participants to engage in various learning sessions and business-to-business networking.

It will culminate in the adoption of the Bangsamoro Business Advocacy Agenda, serving as a strategic partnership and development roadmap of the region’s business sector. (PNA)

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