Sultan Hotel, Jakarta, 3 March 2010

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you and present my statement at this Joint Workshop for ERIA Energy Projects.

As we all know, ASEAN is moving towards establishing an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, and pursuant to that direction, ASEAN is gearing up for cleaner, more efficient and sustainable energy cooperation. Undeniably, energy cooperation is and will be an important element in the building of the AEC to fuel the increasingly integrated ASEAN Single Market and Production Base. ASEAN is cognisant that it will have to focus on the diversification, development and conservation of energy resources, facilitation of energy trade, and energy efficiency measures, including the wider applications of environmentally-sound technologies in order to meet the energy requirements of the region and beyond.

Energy demand is increasing around the world to meet the developmental needs and aspirations of the economies and their people. It is equally significant in the ASEAN region due to its fast economic and demographic growth. For example, ASEAN’s primary energy requirement is projected to triple between 2005 and 2030. According to the Second ASEAN Energy Outlook 2009, energy demand will reach 1,252 MTOE in 2030 from 474 MTOE in 2005, an increase by an average annual growth rate of 4%. This is higher than the world’s average growth rate of 1.8% in primary energy consumption through 2030 quoted in the IEA World Energy Outlook of 2009. Meeting the region’s energy needs – with unprecedented increases in coal use, oil and gas imports, and GHG emissions – will thus prove to be a challenge, especially in connection to the current global debate on the negative impacts of the global warming and climate change.

I firmly believe that regional action on cleaner and sustainable energy is necessary for the continued growth and development of the ASEAN economies. A low carbon economy is the way forward for the AEC and in this regard, the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2010-2015 is an important development and reflects the commitment of ASEAN towards this goal. It is a coherent plan for ASEAN energy cooperation, which sets out several inspirational goals to promote a rapid transition towards the widespread use of cleaner and sustainable energy on a regional scale. The goals include reducing regional energy intensity of at least 8% by 2015 based on 2005 level and achieving a collective target of 15% of renewable energy in the total regional power installed capacity by 2015.

The time is, indeed, ripe to foster cleaner, more secure and sustainable energy cooperation among ASEAN Member States and with our partners in the East Asia Summit (EAS). In this connection, I appreciate the series of ERIA studies and recommendations on the energy sector under the EAS. Such studies and research papers and the practical policy recommendations contained in them will help to consolidate ASEAN’s role as the driver in the regional integration process and to serve as an intellectual hub for community building efforts in ASEAN and East Asia. ASEAN will also require scientific views to identify and prioritise short-term and long-term energy projects in the context of the development of the ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity that is expected to be adopted by the end of this year by ASEAN.

I look forward to a strong partnership between the ASEAN Secretariat and ERIA in looking at policy recommendations to assist the ASEAN Member States in all aspects of cleaner, efficient and sustainable energy cooperation for the building of a dynamic, sustainable and green ASEAN.

In concluding my statement, I wish to express my since appreciation to ERIA for organising this important workshop and wish all participants a fruitful and successful meeting. I hope all of you will have a pleasant stay in Jakarta.

Thank you.