MANILA – The ASEAN region is a primary investment destination, especially in the area of energy generation, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Wednesday.
Formally welcoming delegates to the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM35) and Associated Meetings at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Cusi called for expertise, experience, and investments that would help power growth in the region, “not only because of our growth potential but also because of our efforts to make the region the primary investment destination”.
“This is especially true here in the Philippines, where we intend to fulfill our side of the deal. ASEAN is the right place for you to invest,” he said.
The energy chief noted that the country’s track record speaks for itself, having an open and transparent market.
He said the Philippines has formulated policies to create a regulatory environment that is conducive and supportive of both regional and global investors.
“We’re also doing more, making conscious efforts to reduce regulations and to speed up the process of project approvals through the introduction of Executive Order No 30. This will change the way we process energy projects,” Cusi said, referring to the order that creates the Energy Investment Coordinating Council that would spearhead and coordinate government efforts to streamline regulatory procedures affecting energy projects.
He called for great commitment, bold ideas and innovative solutions “in our pursuit to make our tomorrow better than today”.
“This is an endeavor that can only be realized if it is built on the foundations of regional and public-private cooperation,” Cusi said, adding that he is hopeful of positive outcomes in the next three days of meetings.
The AMEM35 and other meetings are part of the Philippines’ year-long commitment to host the ASEAN Forum.
AMEM35 consists of three meetings — the ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meetings, the Senior Officials Meeting on Energy, and the ASEAN Center for Energy for technical support consultations and dialogue.
The meetings will cover the ASEAN Power Grid, Trans ASEAN Gas Pipeline, Coal and Clean Coal Technology, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Renewable Energy, Regional Energy and Planning, and Civilian Nuclear Energy.