At Dhaka, Bangladesh
BIMSTEC Secretariat in collaboration with USAID-funded program titled South Asian Regional Initiative for Energy Integration(SARI/EI) has organized a two-day conference on Enhancing Energy Cooperation in the BIMSTEC Region in collaboration on 25 -26 February 2020 at the BIMSTEC Secretariat, Dhaka.
Government officials, diplomats, energy experts and think tanks from BIMSTEC Member States attended the conference. The speakers emphasized the need to harmonize the operational, legal and regulatory frameworks of the BIMSTEC countries for implementing an interconnected regional electricity grid.
The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Tawfiq-e-ElahiChowdhury, BB, and Energy Adviser to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Ambassador M Shahidul Islam, Secretary General of BIMSTEC; and Mr. Derrick S. Brown, Mission Director of USAID/Bangladesh. Inaugurating the conference, the Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister emphasized that Bangladesh has made substantial investments in creating infrastructure for power trade with India and is in discussions with Nepal and Bhutan for trilateral power trade. He also mentioned about Bangladesh’s eagerness to expand energy trade with Myanmar. He called upon developmental partners to mobilize investments and create an enabling environment for power trade.
Emphasizing the importance of increased regional cooperation in the energy sector in the region, Ambassador M Shahidul Islam, Secretary General of BIMSTEC said: “The region is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it is heavily dependent on energy imports. BIMSTEC wants to promote energy security in the region by promoting power trade and development of clean energy resources such as hydropower and renewable energy”.
Mr. Derrick S. Brown, USAID Mission Director to Bangladesh, said: “USAID is fortunate to partner with BIMSTEC, to address some of the common critical issues, such as to create an enabling environment that supports cross-border power trade, establishment of a power market, and create consensus and support from the key decision-makers and stakeholders”.
BIMSTEC, a regional organization with its permanent Secretariat in Dhaka,brings together seven countries from South and Southeast Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar – to promote regional cooperation for rapid economic development. In 2018, BIMSTEC concluded a Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection to facilitate electricity trade among member countries through a region-wide grid to achieve energy sufficiency.