The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Japan.
The United States and Japan value transparency, free and fair competition, and the unfettered flow of energy suppliesn the Indo-Pacific region which is vital to the stability and development of the region. The United States and Japan pledge to partner with Mekong countries to maintain and promote a moreustainable energy sector and quality energy infrastructure development that meets the needs of the people of the Mekong, in accordance with the “G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment.” The Mekong Power Partnership forms part of the enduring economic and energy security partnership between our countries. Electricity demand in Mekong countries is projected to increase by 6 to 7 percent per year. The Partnership will help Mekong countries meet their demand for secure, affordable, and reliable electricity and enhance regional power trade and integration.
Today, the United States announced its intent, working with Congress, to provide an initial $29.5 million under the Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy Initiative (Asia EDGE) to support Mekong countries’ pursuit of energy security and their citizens’ reliable access to electricity. Japan welcomed the announcement made by the United States and expressed its intention to work in a complementary manner.
The Partnership will promote economic growth in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, through free, open, stable, rules-based regional electricity markets. The Japanese and U.S. governments will continue assisting Mekong partners to improve institutional and regulatory frameworks, strengthen energy sector governance, help unlock private investment in Mekong power sectors nd promote cross-border energy trade.
Through this Partnership, the United States and Japan will work with ASEAN, the ADB, the World Bank, UNESCAP, UNDP, and other partners to support Mekong energy security, regional integration, and promote the newly endorsed “G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment.”
The Partnership supports the goals of Japan-U.S. Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP), Asia EDGE, and the “Tokyo Strategy 2018.” The Partnership also contributes to the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy(ACMECS), particularly ACMECS Master Plan (2019-2023) Energy Infrastructure and Connectivity’s goals. It also supports the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 goal of prioritizing energy infrastructure and ASEAN electricity market integration and governance to solidify the foundation for continued economic growth in the region. Additionally, the Partnership supports the ASEAN Power Grid initiative and its associated implementing parties, including the ASEAN Power Utilities and Authorities (HAPUA), to strengthen regional energy security through interconnection development and market integration.
The United States and Japan affirm the importance of helping Mekong countries secure their energy supplies and their shared commitment to provide technical assistance, capacity building, and other types of cooperation for a free and energy secure Mekong region.