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Japan plans to send a delegation of government officials and business representatives to the resource-abundant East ASEAN Growth Area early next month to aid the region’s economic development, government sources said Tuesday.

Japan’s support is expected to help improve antiterrorism measures in the region by reducing poverty and stabilizing security conditions, the sources said.

The region, known as BIMP-EAGA, lumps together the geographically close and economically less developed areas of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The four countries belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The region is rich in mineral, forestry and fishery resources. Various Japanese firms have already entered the market there, including trading houses involved in the drilling of natural gas and travel agencies organizing eco-tours, although security and transport problems remain.

Foreign companies are eligible for tax benefits in some parts of the region.

BIMP-EAGA refers to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area.

The Foreign Ministry hopes the delegation’s visit will encourage more companies to invest in the region, the sources said.

The delegation is expected to include representatives from a dozen companies, including travel agencies, manufacturers and trading houses.

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