ASEAN and China Partner for Power Connection

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Since it was proposed in 2013 by the Chinese government, “the Belt and Road” initiative has brought exciting growth opportunities that many can explore to advance towards a more connected world. Supporting this initiative, General Electric (GE) organised their annual summit dedicated to the “One Belt One Road” concept.  The summit convened policymakers; financial institutions; major Chinese Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies; industrial opinion leaders; and global end users from countries along “the Belt and Road”. Held at China National Convention Center, Beijing, on 2 November 2017, the event was able to facilitate conversations which would lead to real business opportunities among participants. GE, accompanied by local market experts and on-the-ground-supports has collaborated with over 30 Chinese EPC companies in more than 70 markets across Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Southeast Asia and Latin America, offering global network of technology, knowledge, and tools. The summit aimed to cultivate an innovative global ecosystem for Chinese EPC industries to accelerate growth in the outbound EPC business.

As one of its strategic markets, ASEAN is put as GE’s main focus by having a special session on ASEAN power situation. The expert from ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), Mr. Beni Suryadi from Policy Research and Analytics Programme was invited as the key presenter for ASEAN’s session, talking about Future ASEAN Power and Key Challenges. He then joined the panel discussion together with the experts from Asian Development Bank (ADB), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and ANZ Bank.

Speaking at the ASEAN’s session, Mr. Suryadi said: “With an average annual real GDP growth rate of 5.3% in the last decade, ASEAN has consistently outperformed global growth. Counted at USD 2.4 trillion, ASEAN economy is the 6th largest in the world or the 3rd largest in Asia, after China and Japan. The region is also the third largest in the world by population with more than half of the region’s inhabitants are under the age of 30, and about 53.3% are living in rural areas. These numbers result in a significant change in the energy landscape. Another thing should be noted is that 86% of energy supply in the region is coming from fossil fuels. In 2015, it was estimated that about 107 million people were living without grid-connected electricity. The region’s average electricity consumption per capita is only about 1,287 kWh annually, which is less than half of the world’s average. So, while on one side ASEAN is struggling to fulfil the demand for its energy hungry consumers; industrial, transportation, commercial and residential sectors in urban area, on the other side, it is also facing the challenges in providing the basic need for electricity so millions of people could execute their daily activities.”  After sharing the findings from ACE’s recent publication, the 5th ASEAN Energy Outlook—launched by the Philippine Secretary of Energy, Alfonso G. Cusi during the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting last September in Manila–Mr. Suryadi invited all parties to collaborate and to create long-term strategic cooperation frameworks based on the principles of resources sharing, mutual trust and exchange, win-win cooperation, and joint development to further leverage the strengths of both ASEAN and China energy sectors. (BS. Featured photo credit: GE).