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19-Nov-2020 : 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (37th AMEM) and Associated Meetings

The annual ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) held its 38th session on the 19th – 20th November 2020 virtually, with the theme of "Energy transition towards Sustainable Development".

The Meeting's opening ceremony, held jointly with the launch of the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF), was officiated by His Excellency Dang Hoang An, Vice Minister of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam on 19th November 2020. His Excellency stressed that regional cooperation during the pandemic has been a testament to ASEAN solidarity, adaptability and responsiveness during the opening. Maintaining connectivity and linkages between member states must be reinforced for sustainable development of the region.

His Excellency Dr Dang Hoang An, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam assumed the role of Chairman of the 38th AMEM, with  Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy of Brunei Darussalam as the Vice-Chairman.
Associated ministerial meetings conducted alongside the 38th AMEM over the two days included  the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) - International Energy Agency (IEA) dialogue, 17th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting Plus Three (AMEM+3), the 14th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM) and the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Dialogue with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The 38th AMEM discussed the progress of activities implemented under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase I 2015-2020. Among the progress updates were the regional expansion of Regasification Terminal capacity to more than double to 38.75 MTPA since 2016. ASEAN is also projected to achieve 24.9% energy intensity reduction based on 2005 levels.

The 38th AMEM also endorsed the second phase of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) for the years 2021 – 2025, carrying the theme "Enhancing Energy Connectivity and Market Integration in ASEAN to Achieve Energy Security, Accessibility, Affordability and Sustainability for All" and sub-theme of, "Accelerating Energy Transition and Strengthening Energy Resilience through Greater Innovation and Cooperation". Under this new plan of action, ASEAN Member States set targets to reduce energy intensity by 32% in 2025 based on 2005 levels, and increasing the component of renewable energy to 23% in the ASEAN energy mix, including through increasing the share of RE in installed power capacity to 35% by 2025. Among other strategies contained within the APAEC Phase II are expanding ASEAN multilateral power trade; enhancing regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) connectivity and accessibility; and advance regional energy policy and planning to accelerate ASEAN's energy transition and resilience.

The ministerial meetings adopted 3 Joint Ministerial Statements namely the Joint Ministerial Statement on the 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting; the 14th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers' Meeting; and the 17th ASEAN Ministers' on Energy Meeting Plus Three. The statements urged for enhanced cooperation in the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, especially in ensuring that the region's energy sector enhances its adaptability, resilience and sustainability in the face of future uncertainties.
Also in attendance were Yang Mulia Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy as Senior Official on Energy (SOE) Leader for Brunei Darussalam, and officers from the Ministry of Energy, Department of Electrical Services and Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam.

The ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) was held in parallel with the 38th AMEM and its associated meetings from 18th to 20th November 2020. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein delivered a Keynote Address in conjunction with the Welcoming Session of the forum, address the theme of  "Responsive and Cohesive Energy Pathways for ASEAN". Yang Berhormat Minister of Energy highlighted the need of regional energy sectors to enhance adaptability and resilience. In order to balance development and sustainability, Brunei Darussalam supports clean energy transition in contributing to national and regional energy sector recovery, while being ready to support the regional natural gas deployment as one of the cleanest fossil fuels to ensure energy access, reliability and affordability. Technology and innovation will be key to clean initiatives, optimising energy efficiency and driving a sustainable energy sector.

The ASEAN Energy Business Forum is an annual forum held back-to-back with the ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM). The forum is annually participated by government officials and private sector representatives, including major energy companies from ASEAN Member States and its Dialogue Partners, for exchanging the latest regional energy investment opportunities and gain first-hand insights into the policy initiatives and regulatory environments that guides future energy developments across the region.

Yang Berhormat Dato Minister of Energy at the 38th AMEM and its Associated Meetings