The United States will strengthen its energy partnerships in the Indo-Pacific at the upcoming ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM), East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting, and the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) in Bangkok, Thailand the first week of September. Assistant Secretary of State Francis R. Fannon of the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) will head the U.S. delegation.
This trip builds on Assistant Secretary Fannon’s trip to the region in June—a sign of U.S. long-term commitmentto partnering with the people of Southeast Asia to develop energy security solutions, given rapid growth in energy demand and increasing external pressures in the South China Sea. The United States aims to bolster ASEAN partners’ energy security and increase member states’ access to modern, affordable energy services throughout the Indo-Pacific. Diversification of energy sources and creation of fair energy markets underpin these shared U.S.-ASEAN goals.
Assistant Secretary Fannon will advance U.S. and regional energy objectives with the private sector and through consultation with regional energy delegations by underscoring the importance of strengthening markets and regulatory regimes. He will also advance the new Japan-U.S. Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP) announced by U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo and Japan’s Foreign Minister Kono in August 2019. JUMPP seeks to enhance regional power trade and interconnectivity in the Mekong region. Assistant Secretary Fannon will work with AMEM, EAS, and AEBF partners collectively, and he will engage in numerous bilateral meetings with regional energy leaders convening in Bangkok that week. The Assistant Secretary’s schedule also includes direct engagement with the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Assistant Secretary Fannon will meet the new Thai Minister of Energy during the visit. The long-term U.S.-Thailand relationship is enhanced by increasing energy trade and development, especially through the U.S. energy initiative Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy), which includes direct investment in Thailand and Southeast Asia’s energy sector by U.S. companies. Assistant Secretary Fannon will also highlight bilateral and regional technical cooperation under ENR’s Power Sector Program, including a U.S. study tour involving Thai energy officials and a regional workshop in support of JUMPP in Bangkok planned for November 2019.
For further information, please contact Donald Kilburg, Spokesperson for the Bureau of Energy Resources, at KilburgDF@america.gov or visit www.state.gov/e/enr. Additional information is available on Twitter at @EnergyAtState.