For Immediate Release
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy (SARI/Energy) program, in cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is hosting a South Asia Regional Conference on Policies and Regulations to Increase Cross Border Energy Trade at the Hyatt Regency hotel in New Delhi starting today.
The three-day conference brings together officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to share ideas and best practice on how to improve cross border electricity trade. Senior-level decision makers will have the opportunity to meet with their counterparts to discuss "next steps" for possible cross border electricity exchange projects.
Currently home to almost one fourth of the world's population, the eight countries in the region have experienced average annual population growth of 1.7% and average annual real GDP growth of 6.2%. With rapid economic growth and industrialization, the region is currently experiencing significant growth in energy demand. Explaining the importance of increasing cross-border energy trade and cooperation to meet the region's increasing energy demands, USAID Mission Director, William Hammink said, "Experience has shown that if the countries in the region are to achieve long-term energy security, the sustained increase in regional cooperation and regional energy integration through bilateral and multilateral energy trade will be important."
Launched in 2000, USAID's SARI/Energy program promotes energy security through increased cross border energy trade, energy market formation, and access to clean sources of power and fuel. The SARI network of energy sector professionals in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka has led to widespread sharing of best practices, models of institutional reform and restructuring, and documented performance improvement. These professionals are helping build regional trade and sustainable economic development.
Last updated: September 16, 2014