January 26, 2004 12:54 PM
KOTA KINABALU, Jan 26 (Bernama) -- The Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-Facilitation Centre (BIMP-FC) will conduct a communication and media workshop in Manado, Sulawesi, this week as part of efforts to revive interest in the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East Asean Growth Area).
The BIMP-FC said in a statement issued here Monday that the two-day workshop which begins on Thursday is aimed at increasing the level of knowledge, awareness, appreciation and understanding of the BIMP-EAGA socio-economic development and imperatives for development.
"It is also to convince the media community to play an active role in creating a positive image for the BIMP-EAGA as well as to establish a network of committed and supportive communicators.
"The workshop will also access the current cooperation strategies in effective communications and with a view to identifying more appropriate communications and information dissemination mechanisms and activities," it said.
The workshop will be attended by media practitioners from participating regions.
The BIMP-FC was established in September last year following the 11th Senior Officials' Meeting and 8th Ministerial Meeting in Davao City.
The BIMP-FC is a concerted effort by the four-member countries to revive the BIMP-EAGA initiative. It is entrusted with the responsibility of accelerating regional cooperation by improving coordination of development activities and facilitating the implementation of priority projects and programmes.
The BIMP-EAGA, conceptualised in 1992 and launched in 1994, is aimed at increasing trade, investments and tourism in the sub-region.
"While implemented during a period of economic boom for the four participating countries, the 1997 Asian financial crisis seriously set back anticipated sub-regional developments as governments were forced to refocus their attention to the more pressing national economic and political issues," it said.
In the absence of strong public support, the capacity of the private sector to spur growth and economic activity within the sub-region has been greatly reduced.
"However, as the economic conditions began to improve, and with renewed confidence, the leaders of the four participating governments expressed commitment and support to the economic cooperation initiative," the BIMP-FC said.