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ADB to Help Four Southeast Asian Nations Cut Border Red Tape, Boosting Trade, Tourism
Source: adb.org
Source Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Created: Aug 16, 2010

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $1.5 million technical assistance grant to help simplify and streamline entry procedures at prioritized border points in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, helping to unlock increased trade and tourism in the subregional bloc.

A recent review of customs, immigration, quarantine and security-related procedures at entry points into the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, commonly known as BIMP-EAGA, found that incoming vessels often had to provide up to 15 different clearance documents to at least seven different agencies.

“This process needs to be simplified and improved both in terms of the number of documents submitted and in the way processing is coordinated among numerous agencies,” said Nguyen Ba Hung, Regional Cooperation Specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

Clearance time for goods can take several hours at land borders or several days at seaports, while inadequate visa-on-arrival facilities acts as a hindrance to foreign visitors, undermining tourism development.

The technical assistance will help BIMP-EAGA members align their trade facilitation and border procedures to speed up the movement of goods and people at eight priority entry points. It will complement other initiatives underway to improved transport connectivity.

The Investment Climate Facilitation Fund, established by the Government of Japan under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility and the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund, will provide cofinance of $1 million and $500,000 respectively, for a total project cost of $1.5 million.

Since 1994, ADB has provided technical assistance of $13.22 million to support development in BIMP-EAGA.
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