PUTRAJAYA, 28 OCTOBER 2021 – The 13th IMT-GT Summit was successfully convened via video conference on 28 October 2021. The Summit which was chaired by His Excellency Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, Prime Minister of Malaysia, with the attendance of His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of The Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand. The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN, and His Excellency Mr. Ahmed M. Saeed, Vice President of Asian Development Bank.
The Leaders noted with satisfaction on the summary of deliverables and achievements reported under the IMT-GT Implementation Blueprint (IB) 2017-2021. Various Physical Connectivity Projects (PCPs) have been successfully developed along each economic corridor to accelerate economic growth within IMT-GT ranging from road projects, airports, seaports, ICT infrastructure, special economic zones (SEZs), and other PCPs. These accomplishments of PCPs can be observed through the completion of Light Rail Transit – South Sumatra, Tanjung Kelayang SEZ, Sei Mangkei SEZ, Arun SEZ and Palapa Ring in Indonesia. Malaysia has completed its projects for the new Bukit Kayu Hitam Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ), Padang Besar CIQ, KTMB Cargo Terminal Perlis. For Thailand, the completed projects are Wang Prachan CIQ, new Sadao CIQ, Padang Besar CIQ, Hat Yai Airport, Betong Airport, and Songkhla Rubber City.
Significant progresses were also reported from the three Lead Focus Areas which were set to spearhead the IMT-GT cooperation. The three Lead Focus Areas – Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Tourism, and Halal Products and Services, each reported great achievements through various projects that help improve the welfare of people in IMT-GT. Beneficial projects such as the Superfruit Project, Surath Red Goat Breeding, and the Asian Sea Bass productivity projects under the Agriculture Pillar, are some of the high impact projects which adds value to the IMT-GT cooperation. For tourism pillar, the IMT-GT welcomed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on IMT-GT Geopark Cooperation as a gateway to promote themed tourism trails in the subregion, together with the Joint Promotion Programme and Joint Thematic Tourism initiatives. The completion of the Halal gap analysis study in 2019 has become the groundwork for the establishment of the strategic halal industry collaboration among member countries. In addition, IMT-GT has also initiated the very first collaboration with Islamic Development Bank on the halal capacity development programme to strengthen capacity of MSMEs in the subregion to be on par with the Global Halal markets.
To address the impending issues of climate change due to fast-pacing urbanization, IMT-GT underscores the active role of local governments in their engagement in green projects through the Green Council and Green Cities Mayor Council and the establishment of the Working Group on Environment to lead the cooperation in achieving IMT-GT as an environmental sustainability subregion.
In the effort to achieve the goal of competitive workforce and people-centred development, IMT-GT has continuously provided skill trainings through the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems based on the needs of the industries, as well as each member country’s unique strengths. The subregion as well has geared up with the University Network (UNINET) to promote people-to-people connectivity through a variety of programmes, in preparation for the post pandemic labour market changes.
To facilitate cross border movement of goods and people in the subregion, the Leaders are pleased to note on the signing of Framework of Cooperation between the Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand in CIQ Procedures which will be realised in early 2022. This framework will be the catalyst for the IMT-GT cooperation to curb any CIQ-related bottlenecks, in the effort to promote for a seamless mobility in the subregion and an improved cross-border trade and investment in IMT-GT.
The Leaders acknowledged on the five new strategic frameworks for the successive IB
2022-2026, namely (i) Corridor-centric approach to regional integration; (ii) Private sectordriven growth; (iii) A highly responsive institutional set-up; (iv) Inclusive growth; and (v) Green, blue, and circular economy.
IMT-GT will further collaborate under initiatives in paving the way for tourism and economic recovery, such as special travel arrangement and e-commerce platform. Together with continuous support from various development partners, the cooperation perseveres and able to report positive progress. IMT-GT will further enhance cooperation with Asian Development Bank and ASEAN Secretariat that has assisted IMT-GT in implementing projects and programs under the IB 2017-2021.
Moving forward to post-pandemic recovery, IMT-GT will continue to strive in accelerating the subregion’s economic cooperation and integration, towards its goal for a seamless, progressive, prosperous, and peaceful subregion with improved quality of life.
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Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) is a sub-regional cooperation initiative formed by the governments of the three countries in 1993 to accelerate the economic transformation in their least-developed provinces. The cooperation further seeks to promote the welfare and economic growth of the people living in the areas covered by the IMT-GT. Established in 2014, Centre for IMT-GT Subregional Cooperation (CIMT) is the central secretariat of IMT-GT, providing support to Member Countries’ National Secretariats in the preparation and organising of official meetings; viz-a-viz the Leaders’ Summit, the Ministers’ Meeting, Senior Officials’ Meeting, and Working Groups Meetings. CIMT is also in charge to aid in the monitoring and coordination of follow-up actions with member Governments and its respective ministries, as well as its agencies. For more information, visit www.imtgt.org