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ADB reaffirms support for cooperation of 'economically competitive' Southeast Asian countries

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao on Sunday reaffirmed support for the two subregional development initiatives in Southeast Asia.

In a statement, ADB the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT–GT) and the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area’s (BIMP–EAGA) will continue to receive its support.

These subregions’ economies, according to the ADB, continues to be resilient amid the emerging global trade tension with strong domestic demand that helps to sustain growth, and policymakers who deal with any potential volatility.

ADB said the IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA are important building blocks for the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“I would like to commend IMT–GT and BIMP–EAGA countries on their significant economic cooperation in recent decades, as Southeast Asia has become more resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and economically competitive,” Mr. Nakao said  at the Southeast Asia Leaders' Summits in Thailand.

“ADB is committed to continuing its support for these subregional programs as a financier, honest broker, provider of knowledge, and a facilitator in leveraging public and private resources for regional investments,” he added.

As the regional development advisor to IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA, the ADB will continue to assist the subregion cooperations at the strategic, operational and administrative level, the Manila-based bank said.

It has been supporting the IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA through its studies in the power sector, trade, tourism, and environment; consultation of projects; and offering training.

President Rodrigo Duterte, along with the leaders of Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia, agreed during the event to promote greater cross-border trade in the BIMP-EAGA, a Malacañang statement said on Sunday—Joviland Rita/KBK/VDS, GMA News