The BIMP-EAGA was grouped initially into four strategic pillars—Food Basket, Connectivity, Tourism and Environment—with a fifth pillar, Socio-Cultural and Education, created in 2015.

bimp eaga strategic pillars

The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) was established in 1994 to address the social and economic development of the less developed and remote territories on the eastern side of BIMP. The focus areas include the following: 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 Mindanao and the province of Palawan in the Philippines.


The Connectivity Pillar included identification of critical infrastructure needed to complete “missing links” within the two BIMP-EAGA priority economic corridors, WBEC and GSSC. The list of Priority Infrastructure Projects (PIPs) developed in 2009 is part of the BIMP-EAGA member countries’ commitment to upscale infrastructure development efforts.

bimp eaga tourism

Tourism development has been one of the pillars of BIMP-EAGA economic integration since the initiative was launched in 1994. Tourism was categorized as one of the fast-track sectors for cooperation on account of its potential to contribute to poverty reduction and the narrowing of development gaps within the subregion. Although tourism resources are fairly similar across BIMP-EAGA, each area offers unique experiences to tourists. Many of the ecotourism sites and destinations are located in rural areas with unique cultures, traditions and lifestyles. The impact of tourism on rural job creation and economic growth is considerable.

food basket

On 26 November 2010, the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting adopted the strategic framework for the food basket initiative for BIMP-EAGA. The food basket strategy (FBS) has since become BIMP-EAGA’s overarching policy framework for the sustainable development of the agro-industry and fisheries sectors. The goal of the FBS is to achieve sustainable development and subregional integration of the agro-industries and fisheries sectors in order to ensure food security, sustainable livelihoods and poverty alleviation in BIMP-EAGA.


The role of the environment sector in achieving sustainable economic development in BIMP-EAGA cannot be overemphasized. The abundant natural resources of the subregion are slowly being decimated as a result of a variety of natural and human-induced environmental threats, including, among others, (i) unsustainable practices in the agriculture, industry, manufacturing and services sectors, (ii) changing land use patterns due to fast urbanization and growing population, (iii) unregulated, unreported illegal fishing, (iv) conversion and/or intrusion into forest lands for plantation development, and (v) lack of capacity, especially among smallholders, to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change and its effects.

bimp eaga socio-cultural

Socio-cultural and Education (SCE) is the newest sector of cooperation in BIMP-EAGA and is responsible for developing people-to-people connectivity and promoting socio-cultural exchanges. The sector has two development components—socio-cultural (SCD) and human resources (HRD)—both of which are driven mainly by the subregion’s human resources.

The 1st Budayaw: 2017 BIMP-EAGA Festival on Culture and Arts, a multi-dimensional  and  multi-disciplinary festival  of arts  and culture of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East-Asian Growth Area (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines) will take place in General Santos City and Sarangani Province on September 20 – 24, 2017. 

Like the Budayaw Festival page on Facebook for updates on the event.