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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                  4  August 2011

Asean countries must lead in energy connectivity

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Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, S Iswaran, said Asean governments must come together and take the lead to ensure that energy does not become a limiting factor in the region's growth.

Speaking at a regional forum, he said it's imperative that infrastructural connectivity be speeded up through projects such as the Asean Power Grid and the Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline.

There's also a need to promote a greater harmonisation of market regulation and standards across the region, which are prerequisites for energy market connectivity.

Mr. Iswaran, who's also the Second Minster for Trade and Industry, said joint research and development in areas such as renewable energy and energy efficiency will also help to unlock more energy options for the region.

He said as a first step, each ASEAN country should study how greater regional energy connectivity can be fostered within their respective energy markets.

Singapore, he said, is seriously considering electricity imports as an addition to its energy mix.

It's currently reviewing the regulatory framework and studying various trading models that could facilitate electricity imports in the medium term.

In turn, Mr. Iswaran said that could catalyse more opportunities for energy cooperation across Asean.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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