Vietnam supports US-ASEAN energy cooperation

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Vietnam wants to promote the US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future, describing it as a practical effort to increase ASEAN-US cooperation.

Vietnamese ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong made the statement at a working session in Washington DC on January 17 between ambassadors of ASEAN member countries and leaders of the Export-Import Bank of the US (EXIMBANK).

Cuong said the initiative, approved by US President Barack Obama and ASEAN leaders at their summit in Cambodia in November 2012, meets the increasing demand for energy production and consumption in not only Vietnam but also other ASEAN member countries in the coming years.

EXIMBANK President Fred Hochberg stressed that the initiative shows the US Government’s strong resolve to foster the comprehensive cooperation partnership between the US and ASEAN.

Over the past few months, approximately US$6 billion has been mobilized for the plan to be implemented in five years. Of the total, US$5 billion is sourced from EXIMBANK to support exports with preferential interest rates, and the remaining US$1 billion is committed to energy projects by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTAD) and the Capacity Building Fund under the US Department of State will provide technical assistance for project implementation.

OPIC representatives noted that the US has made marked progress in generating renewable energy resources, especially solar, wind and thermal power, at competitive prices. They said they are keen to transfer renewable energy technology to ASEAN countries.

To effectively undertake the initiative, ambassador Cuong proposed that US companies introduce solutions for settling three issues of preferential interest rates, equipment prices and state-of-the-art technology.

EXIMBANK leaders confirmed that the bank considers Vietnam a priority ASEAN nations and that it will approve more cooperation projects between the US and Vietnam in 2013.

(VOV)

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