Duterte raises need for re-establishment of disrupted air, sea linkages
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday raised the need to re-establish air and sea linkages that were interrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic and stressed the value of convergence.
Duterte called on leaders of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia to strengthen efforts to bolster growth and development in their countries and the East Association of Southeast Asian Nations Growth Area (EAGA).
“It is vital that we make BIMP(Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines)-EAGA a major catalyst for transformative change in our region,” Duterte said during the 14th BIMP-EAGA Summit.
“President Duterte also stressed the need to re-establish air and sea linkages disrupted during the pandemic while pointing out the importance of developing digital infrastructure in the BIMP-EAGA region to further narrow development gaps,” the Office of the President said in a statement.
The chief executive likewise highlighted the importance of convergence with other connectivity initiatives and partnerships with external stakeholders “to achieve the goal of inclusive and sustainable growth in the BIMP-EAGA.”
Duterte also pushed for the establishment of travel corridors and proposed consideration of similar arrangements to alleviate COVID-19 crisis’ effects and restore pandemic-affected tourism industries.
He pointed out the Asean Travel Corridor Agreement Framework, which the BIMP-EAGA can review to “promote essential travel in the region.”
Duterte, moreover, noted the need to “intensify efforts in ensuring the sustainability of marine and agricultural resources as part of recovery efforts.”
Duterte joined other Asean leaders through a video conference in Malacañang for the 38th and 39th Asean Summits and related summits which were held on October 26 to 28.
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