Journal Article

Special Economic Zones for Shared Prosperity: Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area


  • Aggarwal
  • A.
Publication Date

The Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) subregional cooperation programs supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) accord a high priority to the development of regional and cross-border production networks using special economic zones (SEZs) and special border economic zones as the key tools. The subregional SEZs are potentially effective mechanisms to stimulate economic activities, employment, exports, and foreign direct investment by deepening subregional cooperation. However, little is known about whether the participating economies have developed coordinated strategies to integrate trade expansion and growth with SEZ development in the subregion. Bearing this consideration in mind, ADB—a regional development advisor to BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT—has initiated a study on the collaborative approach to SEZ development and cooperation in the two subregions under ADB technical assistance 9572 at the request of the member countries. Against that background, this study focuses on the BIMP-EAGA economic zones. This is the first study of its kind that takes stock of the BIMP-EAGA SEZs and other economic zones, reviews the extent to which these are aligned with national and subnational development strategies of the member countries, and reviews their performance. It also identifies the challenges facing BIMP-EAGA economic zones and offers recommendations for policy makers to support active clustering and specialization efforts in the subregion. No earlier study has assessed the implementation of the subregional agenda from the perspective of economic zones.


Key Words

  • development strategy
  • East ASEAN Growth Area
  • production networks
  • Special Economic Zones

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