On Thursday, IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol and Ministers of Energy from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states gathered at the 34th ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, to endorse the ASEAN-IEA Joint Statement of cooperation for 2017.
The Joint Statement outlined key areas of cooperation between the IEA and ASEAN member states, including: energy policy development, energy security, emergency response coordination, regional market integration, and energy efficiency standards.
“Given Southeast Asia’s rising importance on the global energy map, the IEA attaches high priority to supporting ASEAN countries in addressing energy challenges in a sustainable and innovative pathway,” said Dr Birol. “Today the cooperation between the IEA and ASEAN is closer than ever.”
The closed-door meeting was chaired by Mr Pe Zin Tun, Minister of Electricity and Energy in Myanmar. Ministers from ASEAN, the Heads of ASEAN Power Utilities and Authorities (HAPUA) and ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE) were also present.
Dr Birol presented IEA analysis on key trends in global energy security and sustainability challenges, pointing to the shift in energy demand growth to Asia and the importance of taking advantage of decreasing cost of renewable energy and energy efficiency. In particular, Dr Birol highlighted the high potential of saving energy by improving energy efficiency in Southeast Asia and encouraged ASEAN member states to take up energy efficiency measures.
“IEA and ASEAN member countries share many common challenges – we both need to build secure and sustainable energy supplies and markets as platforms for promoting economic growth,” emphasized Dr Birol. “These are global challenges that need to be addressed on a global basis.”
On the side lines of AMEM, Dr Birol held meetings with Ministers and high-level officials from Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines and the United States to discuss bilateral cooperation.
Earlier in the day, Dr Birol also delivered a keynote speech at the ASEAN Energy Business Forum on the IEA’s new publication World Energy Investment 2016 in front of about 150 energy executives and media representatives. The investment report took a comprehensive view of the state of play of energy investments in the world economy.