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Opening Remarks For The Singapore-IEA Forum By SMS Koh Poh Koon

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OPENING REMARKS FOR THE SINGAPORE-IEA FORUM BY DR KOH POH KOON, SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY, AT THE SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL ENERGY WEEK 2017, ON TUESDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2017, 10.30 AM, SANDS EXPO & CONVENTION CENTRE, MARINA BAY SANDS

 

 

 

Excellencies

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Welcome

1.            A very good morning to all of you.  It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural Singapore-International Energy Agency (IEA) Forum.

2.            The IEA welcomed Singapore as an Association Country at the Singapore International Energy Week in October 2016. As part of the Association to the IEA, Singapore is partnering with the IEA on two key initiatives for the region.  The first initiative is the Singapore-IEA Regional Training Hub, where we work together to provide the Asia-Pacific region with greater access to IEA expertise.  Under this initiative, we organised in July this year the Singapore-IEA Energy Efficiency Training Week for the Asia Pacific, which attracted nearly 100 participants from 15 countries.  

3.            The second initiative is the Singapore-IEA Forum, which serves as a high-level platform for global energy leaders to discuss the future of energy markets.  The Forum also supports the IEA’s efforts to promote a more inclusive global energy dialogue.  The inaugural Forum today will focus on the important topic of energy investments in Asia.  I am pleased to note the very distinguished line-up of speakers from the government, industry, financial institutions and international organisations. This strong line-up reflects the strong and wide interest in the topic. 

4.            I am also delighted to welcome the launch of the 3rd edition of the Southeast East Asia Energy Outlook by the IEA at today’s Forum.  The Southeast Asia Energy Outlook has been a valuable resource to policymakers and industry players in the region over the years.  The IEA’s presentation of the Outlook’s key findings will also help to set the stage for today’s discussions on energy investments.   

 

Asia’s Energy Investment Challenge

5.            The IEA has projected that Asia’s energy demand will continue to increase rapidly, driven largely by growth in China, India and Southeast Asia. There is a growing need to invest in energy infrastructure and technological solutions in Asia, to ensure that the region has access to affordable, sustainable and reliable energy. 

6.            At the same time, energy access remains an important issue, as over 500 million people[1] in Asia still lack access to modern energy services. The energy landscape is also changing, with the decentralisation of generation sources and digitalisation of power grids altering the way we generate, distribute, and use electricity.  

7.            Against this backdrop, the ability to channel capital to bankable projects, and to promote enabling environments for new business models today, will be crucial in helping to unlock the economic potential of Asia.

8.            There is no lack of parties who are keen to invest in the region’s energy future.  The key is bringing these parties together with demand centres, and matching their strengths and needs to create effective partnerships.  This is where Singapore can play a role.  

 

Singapore’s Role as a Regional Financing Hub

9.            Singapore is one of the key financial centres of the world, with a deep and liquid capital market, well-established business infrastructure and access to talents.  We offer collaborative platforms, where energy infrastructure developers, consultants, governments, financial institutions and institutional investors can come together to create solutions for the region.  

10.       One example of such a platform is the World Bank Singapore Hub, which co-locates the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.  Leveraging Singapore’s position in the global capital market, the Hub helps to mobilise private sector investment for sustainable infrastructure and urban development in Asia.  

11.       To enable Singapore-based companies to tap on the growing market for infrastructural development in the region, the government has also enhanced the Internationalisation Finance Scheme to help companies access financing for their overseas projects by co-sharing the default risks with participating financial institutions.  

12.       On the manpower side, the government has also introduced the Professional Conversion Programme for Global Ready Infrastructure Talent to nurture a pipeline of local talent in areas such as financing and engineering, to better support overseas infrastructure project needs.  These initiatives will help create a more conducive environment for energy investments in the region. 

 

Conclusion

13.       For today’s Forum, Singapore and the IEA have curated a programme to help us better understand the landscape and possibilities, and to discuss solutions.  The IEA will be sharing their perspectives on Asia’s energy investment landscape in Asia and how we can do more together to facilitate energy infrastructure financing.  Our distinguished speakers will also highlight the opportunities and challenges present in meeting the energy investment needs in Asia and how to scale up investment in business innovation, grid transformation and technology disruptions. 

14.       The outcomes of our discussions today will be shared at the upcoming IEA Ministerial Meeting in November.  As a follow-up, Singapore will be working with the IEA to host a training programme on energy investments under the Singapore-IEA Regional Training Hub initiative in 2018.  We look forward to your support then.  

15.       Thank you once again for joining us at the inaugural Singapore-IEA Forum. I wish you all a fruitful discussion.



[1] IEA, World Energy Outlook 2016 Energy Access Database


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DATE PUBLISHED 24 Oct 2017
LAST UPDATED 24 Oct 2017
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