US Will Support The Rise Of Energy Sector In Asia

Power Lines
The sun is seen behind high-voltage power lines and electricity pylons in Bordeaux, France, April 9, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo)

United States firms will take part in the growth of the energy sector in Thailand and other Indo-Pacific partners, aimed at ensuring that Asia builds energy security in the future.

A US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Energy Resources Francis Fannon visited the Thailand Energy Ministry of Energy this week to discuss

Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy -- or Asia Edge initiative.

In a teleconference call with the media this week, Fannon said the initiative would help boost US-Thai relationship and develop energy resources and secure energy markets

"My visit to Bangkok signifies the importance the U.S. places on advancing our bilateral energy cooperation as well as the important role that Thailand plays regionally and indeed globally.  As a U.S. treaty ally, I'm especially pleased to be here to advance shared the U.S. and Thai energy interests," he said.

He also said Thailand reaffirmed its shared commitment to partner with one another through the energy initiative. 

Fannon said Thailand would serve as a model to produce tangible outcomes under Asia EDGE. 

Asia EDGE is part of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy and will catalyze private sector investment, Fannon stressed.

Fannon noted that working with U.S. companies "is the best way to ensure that fair competition, transparency, and environmental due diligence underpin energy markets."

He said that the private sector involvement will ensure that the markets will operate under the highest technical standards.

" I think U.S. companies, again, bring the best technology, the best innovation, the best health, safety, and environmental records.  They operate with the utmost, with transparency.  And critically important here, they respect the sovereignty of the nations in which they operate."

The Asia Edge will be an example of a partnership with countries which means that energy approach will be tailored to each country, it's set of ambition and how do they want to see markets develop.

Asia EDGE will mark its one-year anniversary next month and Fannon said initial funding of the initiative has gone to some of the policy and technical work in order to promote "open, transparent, competitive energy markets, and that lays the foundations for private sector interest."

US partner, Japan committed $6 billion to advance Asia EDGE principles, while this week USAID announced $100 million to catalyze $7 billion of private sector investment in the region.

 It was estimated that ASEAN's energy demand is expected to rise by nearly two-thirds from 2018 to 2040 and with the industrialization and population growth it is also forecast that at least US$2.7 trillion investment is needed to meet energy demand.

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