: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Nature
Browse Nature Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

APEC Energy Ministers focus on regional cooperation

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1998-11-20

Thursday, October 8, 1998, marked the first day of several meetings scheduled during the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Council) "Third Energy Ministers Meeting". It was the first time for the APEC conference on energy to come to Okinawa Prefecture. Delegates from twenty one countries gathered at the Convention Center to participate in various seminars and bilateral meetings to discuss future policies among APEC members for cooperation on energy and economic issues. One of the main focuses of the conference revolved around new energy technologies that were environmentally friendly.

Governor Ota was present to give a warm welcoming speech during the reception party, saying that he believed the meeting would "bring great progress" to the region.

Most of the delegates showed high expectations for future cooperation among all APEC members, and also stressed that the forum was a consensus among participating countries. "It's very important that APEC Ministers get together to discuss policies concerning energy. It is a very key issue in the region," said Bob Alderson, First Assistant Secretary of Australia. "We see the fundamentals of working through cooperation as a win-win situation."

For developing countries within Asia, the exchange of dialogue is seen as very hopeful for future energy related projects, which could mean needed foreign investment and jobs for a region that has been recently plagued by economic problems.

The concerns over Asia's economy were echoed by Malaysia's Minister of Energy Telecommunications and Posts, Leo Moggie, who said, "Malaysia is like all countries in APEC - we would like to maintain a close dialogue with each other. One of the most important topics here is the financial difficulties affecting the region. For our case, it is the slowing down of economic growth. We can see that energy consumption is usually directly tied with a country's GDP."

Minister Leo Moggie also believes however, that there are still reasons to be optimistic. "There are good opportunities to look at potential energy projects," he said. "Japan is a very important country to the region - it can play an important role as a leader. China is a big country and has a very big work force. And, Indonesia is very rich in natural resources."

The bilateral cooperation among countries also means business for countries such as the United States, Japan, Canada, and Australia. "This is not technology that we are simply giving away. Any project involves foreign investment, and there are American Companies here to do business - just like any other country. When American companies invest, they also bring with them some of the most sophisticated technologies in the world," said John Wolf, United States Ambassador to APEC.

Concern for the environment was also another issue at the forefront of most of the seminars. Last year's "Global Warming Conference" held in Kyoto seems to be playing a role recently in policy making, especially when it comes to energy sources. "There was a definite impact from the Kyoto Protocol and climate changes being registered all over the world," said Murray J. Stewart, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association. There is much discussion on low CO2 emitting power sources - going to nuclear and using less coal. There are also many regional piping projects using natural gas, which offers a 50% reduction in CO2.

This year's meeting also included delegates from Russia, Vietnam, and Peru, who participated as observers. Russia, who will become an official member of APEC on November 1, is keeping a close eye on developments within Asia. "There are many benefits for the future to work with more countries within Asia," explained Mr. Kalmychek, who is Chief Coordinator for Investment for the Russian Federation in Japan. "The area of first priority here is in energy, but we are also looking at transportation projects." Russia is currently involved in the "Tumangang Project ", which would connect transportation routes between the borders of Russia, China, and North Korea.

With Japan helping to lead the way in Asia and the Pacific Rim, it is hoped by all APEC members that future cooperation will mean prosperity for all those involved.

Browse Nature Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleJU FacebookOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker