In a move aimed to counter concerns over the negative impact of high oil prices on economic growth and development in the region, the 16 leaders of the 10-member Asean and its dialogue partners who attended the Second East Asia Summit have agreed to strengthen and promote energy cooperation.
Under the banner of Cebu Declaration on Energy Security, signed on Monday at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City, the member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) and their six dialogue partners - Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea made a commitment to strengthen regional cooperation on energy security to ensure a stable and affordable supply over the long term.
In her report as chairwoman of the 12th Asean Summit after the conclusion of their meetings on Saturday, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said that to address this problem, Asean agreed on a strategic approach to strengthen and promote energy cooperation, especially in key infrastructure projects. These would include the Asean power grid and a Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline.
The ultimate goal of Asean leaders is to create an open energy market, she said.
The declaration also stresses the need to improve energy use efficiency and the diversification of energy supply by developing alternative sources such as biofuels and civilian nuclear power.
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