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East ASEAN grouping wants better air, sea links
Germaine de Peralta, Manila

Germaine de Peralta, Manila  
(15th Sep 2003)

SENIOR officials of the East ASEAN Business Council (EABC), under the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), have called on all four governments to strengthen air and sea links to boost tourism and trade in the subregion.

Earlier the council, which met in Davao last week, complained tourism and trade in the subregion was low due to the lack of air and sea transportation.

EABC chairman, Datuk Ahman Ali Lope Abdul Aziz, said governments should facilitate easier travel. EABC deputy and Mindanao Council chairman, Mr Joji Ilagan-Bian, proposed the implementation of fifth-freedom traffic rights to allow airlines to serve the BIMP-EAGA routes.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur-based airline Layang-layang Aerospace said it was interested in serving the secondary routes within the subregion with small aircraft. Layang-layang spokesman, Mr Jonathan Nair, said the company was “firmly” interested in BIMP-EAGA routes because “these are untapped and promising” and “our service here would be a support facility to the business community”.

Among the routes the company plans to serve are Tawau (Malaysia)-Zamboanga and Bandar Seri Begawan-Jakarta.

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