U.S. hosts regional meeting in Cambodia on energy development

September 29, 2009
(Post by CAAI News Media)

The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday hosted a two-day conference in Cambodia on energy development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

In the opening speech, U.S. Ambassador Carol A. Rodley said "the challenges facing the GMS in the energy sector are not unique: high economic growth of the region is driving the demand for energy whereas almost 50 million people in the GMS lack access to electricity."

"Under this GMS Economic Cooperation program, development of the energy sector in one country will be able to benefit the development of all countries through the most efficient use of the natural resources within the region," she added.

Participants for the forum are the representatives from some of the world's most well-known publicly traded American companies such as Chevron, GE, AES, Shlumberger, Conoco Phillips, Dupont, and Rockwell Automation as well as scores of other American, Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Chinese, and other companies that are interested to contribute to the development of the GMS energy sector.

The two-day conference includes speakers from the public and private sectors in the United States, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Conference topics will range from understanding energy policies and opportunities in member countries to a case study of energy trading in relationship to the expanding GMS market.

The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation (GMS-EC) program is a regional effort among the countries of the Mekong river basin including Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, to develop energy infrastructure with the goal of expanding trade and growth in the region.

The U.S. Embassy said in a statement that "steady supplies of energy will be a critical element of future GMS trade and growth."

The GMS-EC program envisions regional production and distribution of energy, creating new opportunities for energy related technology producers, distributors, and traders.

Priorities of the GMS-EC Program include cooperation on developing energy, transportation, telecommunications, tourism, environment, and human resources for expanded business opportunities.

An Asian Development Bank (ADB) evaluation of the GMS Energy Program found that investor confidence in undertaking regional power export projects has risen strongly due to greater regional integration.

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