On 16 December 2021, Mr. Guo Chuanwei, Director of the Trade and Investment Division (TID) of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) attended the BIMP-EAGA-China Webinar.
The webinar was co-hosted by Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) and authorities of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Mr. Ren Hongbin, Vice Minister of MOFCOM, Mr. Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) of Malaysia, and Mr. Abdulgani Macatoman, Undersecretary of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines made online speeches.
Vice Minister Ren Hongbin expressed that BIMP-EAGA-China Cooperation (BECC) is one important part of ASEAN-China cooperation. China welcomes in-depth participation of all parties of BIMP-EAGA in its process of fostering a new development paradium, and encourages Chinese enterprises to invest and start business in BIMP-EAGA, contributing to the construction of ASEAN Economic Community and the growth of the region.
Minister Mustapa Mohamed appreciated China’s strong support to BIMP-EAGA. He stated that BIMP-EAGA aspires to deepen cooperation with development partners and China has played an important role in funding, technological support, talent cultivation and project evaluation. The two parties adopted documents on BECC and reached consensus on Action Plan (2020-2025), which will further strengthen mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation as well as benefitting wider sub-regional cooperation.
Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman mentioned that productive partnership and joint business models are needed by BIMP-EAGA members for economic and social recovery since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. It’s challenging to jointly implement projects and conduct offline activities under the pandemic. However, the webinar proves that cross-border connectivity and sound trade relations would be achieved by making full use of existing tools and innovation.
The webinar was themed with “Boosting Trade and Economic Ties in the Post-Pandemic Era”. Representatives of China International Contractors Association, BIMP-EAGA Business Council and other chambers of commerce and industrial associations of both sides, together with representatives of international organisations and financial institutions including the ASEAN Secretariat, BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Center, Asian Development Bank and China Development Bank, exchanged views and shared insights on topics including “Prospect for Economic and Trade Cooperation”, “Investment and Business Experience” and “Strategic Improvement of Business Cooperation” between BIMP-EAGA and China.
During the Q&A session, questions on RMB local currency settlement, financial institution support, regional connectivity, infrastructure cooperation, anti-epidemic experience as well as visa application were voiced by attendees and replied respectively by Mr. Yu Xiang, Deputy Director-General of Department of Asian Affairs of MOFCOM and other guests.