Thanks to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), I was able to cover the 2nd BIMP-EAGA IMT-GT International Trade Fair and Business Leaders’ Conference last October 22 to 25, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang in Davao City, Philippines. I’ve always wanted to witness a BIMP-EAGA event and I’m glad that I finally had the opportunity to do so. BIMP-EAGA events are important international functions especially in terms of trade, investments, tourism and even each of the participating countries’ roles in the upcoming ASEAN Integration.
BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area while IMT-GT means Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Triangle. Now on its 20th year, the BIMP-EAGA is considered as a key strategy to accelerate social as well as economic development in less developed areas in the participating countries.
5 countries all in one roof – #Brunei #Indonesia #Malaysia #Philippines #Thailand – Welcome to #EAGAIMT2014 ! I am truly honored to be officially invited to cover this very important event that highlights trade and business among ASEAN countries. Please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and read Mindanaoan.com for updates! Thank you.
Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos was the keynote speaker during the business leaders’ conference. He was still in his element that day. Of course, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also garnered a lot of attention (and not just because he wore a barong and jeans) 🙂
The Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area business leaders’ conference officially begins. Former Philippine Pres. Fidel Ramos is keynote speaker. #EAGAIMT2014 A photo posted by Mindanaoan.com Irene (@mindanaoan) on
I must admit, however, that I was a wee bit more interested with the international trade fair. I am that kind of person who loves to meet fellow entrepreneurs, listen to their stories and offer mine, if need be.
In a few days’ time, I was able to network and meet business folks from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. I was also able to listen to success stories.
Meet my new #Malaysian friends! They have products showcased at #EAGAIMT2014 at SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang #Davao – swing by and meet them! You may just be the DISTRIBUTOR/WHOLESALER they’re looking for! FREE Admission. More details about their products soon on Mindanaoan.com #trade #melaka #malaysia
These Malaysian entrepreneurs, for instance, were able to meet wholesalers/distributors of their products because of their participation in the BIMP-EAGA trade fair. Nurul Ashirah and Che Mahadzir, both of Superpower Grape Seed, told me that they already have two Philippine distributors of their fast-selling grapeseed-based products. They also told me that they were about to meet one more. On the other hand, folks from Muhibah Palm Products, said they already got lots of inquiries. Managing Director Ong Kong Kuan said that investors were very interested when they found out how affordable their palm oil products were. iTim Holdings Malaysia Director Fatimah Hamid, meanwhile, said that their chilli sauce and paste caught the attention of an experienced distributor. She said that the investor was even keen on starting the partnership right away. The makers of the following products showcased during the trade fair also shared positive feedback:
Lots of great ASEAN products here at #EAGAIMT2014 Trade Fair. Got myself chocolate drinks from #Melaka #Malaysia , skin products from #Thailand and loads of great tour packages from around the #Philippines . Swing by SMX Convention Center #Davao for this great networking opportunity! Meet businessmen from #Brunei as well. Until Oct. 26, 2014 only.
A photo posted by Mindanaoan.com Irene (@mindanaoan) on
Listening to all the success stories during the BIMP-EAGA IMT-GT International Trade Fair surely solidified my faith not only in the BIMP-EAGA but more particularly in Mindanao as well. To borrow the words of Malaysian Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim, the BIMP-EAGA has so much potential. We have so many exceptional resources that we can optimize. Why can’t we champion the free flow of goods, capital and investments and help SMEs in order to reduce poverty?
The truth is basic – we will have more success stories if we respect and acknowledge one another’s similarities and differences at the same time.
Should you be interested to contact the businesses that participated in the international trade fair, please feel free to contact the Mindanao Development Authority.
Thanks again to MinDA for the opportunity! I hope to continue to be your partner in disseminating the correct message about Mindanao.
My special thanks to Director Yo, Sir Louie, Kathy and Ken!