Thank you so much, and thank you for convening this.  This is a great event.  And I just want to also recognize your leadership and your entire team in the collaboration we have.   

I’ll speak to this a little bit in my remarks, but I just wanted to underscore, because you do it so well, the implementers here are really the private sector and the way you described the U.S. investment in this is effectively the seed money, but it’s really the private sector that are drivers of this growth.  So, well put. 

Secretary Pompeo understands how important energy and related supply chains are to our foreign policy, especially in the Indo-Pacific.  According to the International Energy Agency projections by 2040, the  Indo-Pacific’s energy demand will grow 60 percent and require trillions of dollars of investment.  How countries meet that growing demand will significantly impact energy security  and economic stability across the region.  That has global ramifications. 

We’re in the early stages of a global transformation for traditional energy supply and demand patterns and the integration of diverse systems.  Asia EDGE seeks to ensure that this new energy map is built on open, transparent markets and secure, reliable and resilient supply chains.   

To do so, the State Department leads this truly wholeofgovernment strategy.  We’re involving ten government agencies with the Department of Commerce and USAID as chairs for industry and programming.  We partner with countries to achieve their respective energy security and development ambitions by creating the right conditions to attract U.S. businesses. 

In particular we also are very excited to have Development Finance Corporation as a partner.  Under the Secretary of State’s chairmanship the DFC has a new capability to promote U.S. business with financing throughout the Indo-Pacific region.  In Secretary Pompeo’s launch of Asia EDGE in 2018 the Department of State and USAID, have dedicated more than $140 million to support energy security, diversification, access and trade across the Indo-Pacific.  This includes programs like the upcoming Asia EDGE Deal Flow, that partner to identify, assess and advance bankable energy investment opportunities in the region.   

To date we have partnered with more than 90 American private sector firms across 32 U.S. states.  The initiative builds on decades of robust  U.S. government policy and programmatic work in the region that recognizes that enhanced coordination will accelerate U.S. government engagement and ultimately benefit the region and the United States alike. 

Much of our current engagement is done virtually, of course, as we are today.  Due to COVID these long-established relationships are more important now more than ever.  The Department of State is able to work with our partner governments and industry to identify tailored areas of engagement and convene interagency partners.  We have an extensive network of dedicated public servants, approximately 30 embassies across the region, and subject matter experts here and overseas around the world. 

We engage at the full spectrum from the technical to the senior levels diplomatically.  We have bilateral engagement with Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Australia, where we discuss issues of energy security and diversification, power market reform, efficiency and renewable energy integration.   

In addition, the Department of State, USAID and our interagency partners, especially Department of Commerce, work closely with each other and foreign governments on a range of technical assistance programs.  These programs are based on a country’s priorities including energy efficiency power market gas development reform. 

An example of how we work and benefit industry is how we’re working with Vietnam and the Philippines.  We focus on development of open, transparent natural gas markets.  In the past year the interagency advanced over $3 billion in U.S. commercial deals in these two countries alone. 

Some other areas where we’re working—in India we established  in partnership with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, something called the Flexible Resource Initiative launched last October, to strengthen India’s ability to raise private capital, to finance their own security needs and enhance opportunities for U.S. companies in the power system. 

In Vietnam and Thailand we have ongoing partnerships with regulators and electric utilities.  But we also are broadening these bilateral works to also include multilateral.  The good work we’re doing in Vietnam and Thailand has increased and now we have a new program with Japan—the Japan-US-Mekong Power Partnership with the State Department and USAID.  We’re in partnership with Japan.  We’re targeting regional electricity grids in that region to support U.S. firms in their build-out of cross-border transmission lines. 

We’re looking at these very much as issues of the day, but we’re also looking for tomorrow.  For example, we have a partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on how to integrate future energy systems, maximize grids in South Asia. 

We’re working with ASEAN countries as they look to integrate multiple energy sources to the digitization of energy systems. 

And lastlyjust as the U.S. industry is focused on this issue, we’re integrating gender equality into the energy sector in the Indo-Pacific. 

In closing, I’d like to point out that despite the many global challenges as of late, our Asia EDGE community is able to adapt quickly with creative solutions.  This only reinforced the confidence of our work together and how we will address the energy needs of the region and thereby our collective energy security. 

Thank you. 

U.S. Department of State

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