Government of Georgia and International Energy Agency to host Energy Security Conference

(Tblisi, Georgia) — 15 June 2006

Guiding the expanding role of Central Asian gas in Eurasia and strengthening the collective security of energy supply – these are the bold objectives of a joint conference hosted by the Government of Georgia, under the auspices of President Mikheil Saakashvili, and the International Energy Agency from June 19-21 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Under the title “Eurasian Energy Security: Market Access and Investment Policy – ‘Forging the Link’”, the meeting will bring together senior government officials, corporate executives and other key decision makers from around the world to consider the expanding role of Central Asian gas in Eurasian energy security and the development of an enhanced “Southern Corridor” of energy delivery.

Energy market integration in Eurasia is a priority, but requires further investment to diversify upstream energy supply for consumers, downstream security of demand for producers and enhanced midstream transport infrastructure to increase market access and interconnectivity for both. The challenge for both government policymakers and corporate strategists remains: How to align Eurasian energy market governance and market structures in a stable long-term policy framework to safeguard its reliable operation and to mobilize timely investment?

The conference will develop new approaches to collective security of energy supply to turn Eurasia’s potential into a progressive new plan of action. Just one month ago, crude oil from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline reached its destination in Ceyhan, Turkey, connecting the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas for the first time in a monumental moment of progress for world energy security. Now, the time is ripe to take the next step on the path toward the future of energy security in Eurasia.

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia and Mr. Claude Mandil, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, will give keynote addresses in the opening session of the Conference The roundtable debate will be conducted under Chatham House rule. A press conference is scheduled on Wednesday the 21st of June at the close of the Conference with H.E. Gela Bezhuashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and H.E. Ambassador William C. Ramsay, Deputy Executive Director, IEA to report on the key findings of the roundtable debate.
The conference and press conference will be held at the Tbilisi Courtyard Marriott.
Please see the website (http://president.gov.ge/forging_the_link.html ) for more information, and to register for press accreditation. Georgian government contact:
Benjamin Wheeler
+995 (99) 54 36 06
benwheeler@admin.gov.ge

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