The Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, or BIMP-EAGA, is a cooperation initiative established in 1994 to spur development in remote and less developed areas in the four participating Southeast Asian countries.
The subregion covers the entire sultanate of Brunei Darussalam; the provinces of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku and West Papua of Indonesia; the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in Malaysia; and the island of Mindanao and the province of Palawan in the Philippines. These areas are geographically far from the national capitals, yet strategically close to each other.
These states and provinces account for over 60% of the land area of the BIMP-EAGA countries; yet they make up less than 20% of their population and 18% of the labor force.
Through BIMP-EAGA, the four countries want to generate balanced and inclusive growth as well as contribute to regional economic integration in the ASEAN Economic Community. They want to boost trade, tourism, and investments by easing the movement of people, goods, and services across borders; making the best use of common infrastructure and natural resources; and taking the fullest advantage of economic complementation.
BIMP-EAGA Digital SMEs Business Center is intended to encourage higher collaboration of the BIMP-EAGA’s exporters in developing and promoting their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) product. By having the BIMP-EAGA Digital SMEs Business Centre, it can help SMEs to expand their markets which will push them to improve the quality as well as the quantity of their products. In this sense, the Digital SMEs Business Centre can be used, not only, as a venue to conduct digital events (i.e. trade fairs/expo and business matching/meeting/seminar) for BIMP-EAGA exporters/producers, but also to display or sell products to the potential buyer (or importers). Afterwards, the Digital SMEs Business Centre can also be used as an hub to deepen and intensify collaboration among private sectors in improving their product quality.
This project is aimed to address several problems/constraints which were faced by BIMP-EAGA’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), such as: the size of the enterprise, poor management skills and low productivity, lack of access to information, technology, financing, and markets, low number of digital-based SMEs, as well as minimum contribution of SMEs on total export. Thus, this project was developed to overcome those problems/constraints by intensifying cooperation and collaboration among BIMP-EAGA member countries.
This project is established to achieve 3 objectives, namely:
1.Scaling up SMEs
2.Providing Information regarding the available market
3.Upgrading management skills and low productivity
Facilitating virtual business matchmaking activities, as a platform that brings together SMEs, potential partners, and potential buyers.