East Asian economies pledge to strengthen energy security

Sep 29, 2005 02:00 AM

Ministers from 13 east Asian countries pledged to shore-up energy security in the wake of record oil prices and said they would work towards sealing a world free trade agreement in Hong Kong later this year. The trade and economic ministers from the 10-nation ASEAN block plus China, Japan and South Korea also raised the prospect of an East Asian oil stockpile as a means of combating future oil price shocks.
"The ministers shared a common concern at the soaring oil price on the recovering Asian economy and its negative effects on economic growth," they said in a statement.

Other proposals included a joint impact study with agencies such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) on the negative economic impact of high oil prices, and energy efficiency and diversification measures.
Japan, the only country in the region to already have its own oil stockpile, said it was taking seriously the threat posed to energy security by record costs and potential supply disruptions. Chief of the Japanesedelegation Hachiro Okonogi told the process of how to build a stockpile -- with prices hovering around $ 65 a barrel -- and where, would now be referred to a working level committee.
"This is a matter that we need to discuss further," he said.

Oil and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference to be held in Hong Kong this December dominated talks with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its three, economically powerful, northern neighbours. Issues concerning economic integration, which has witnessed China and Japan vying for influence in Southeast Asia appeared to have been relegated down the agenda for the time being.
South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyen-Chong said that given recent global trade developments there was "a commitment to work together to ensure successful outcomes" at the sixth WTO Ministerial Conference.
Asked whether he believed the Doha agreement would be implemented, he told: "I am cautiously optimistic that it will."

The ministerial meeting of 148 WTO members on December 13-18 is meant to set the seal on four years of talks launched in the Qatari capital Doha that aim to deliver a comprehensive treaty for free trade by 2006. The talks ran into a deep impasse in the Mexican beach resort of Cancun in 2003, mainly owing to differences over farm trade and market access for services, and negotiators have been struggling since to get them back on track.
The WTO's failure to hammer out an interim agreement in July has prompted speculation that the December meeting was doomed to failure. However, the United States, European Union and a handful of other key players from the WTO are to meet in November in Switzerland to try to keep talks on a treaty liberalising global commerce going.

ASEAN appeared more hopeful that an agreement would be reached, pledging its "strong support to establish the full modalities in agriculture.

Source: AFP
Alexander's Commentary

Change of face - change of phase

In the period of July 20 till August 3, 2015, Alexander will be out of the office and the site will not or only irreg

read more ...
« February 2020 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29

Register to announce Your Event

View All Events