International Symposium on Energy Policy Development in Myanmar
While Myanmar has attracted increased international attention since its integration into the global economic system in 2011, it still faces many energy development challenges.
Such challenges - and opportunities - were discussed in the International Symposium on Energy Policy Development in Nay Pyi Taw on 6 February 2015. The organizers were the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Government of Japan, the National Energy Management Committee (NEMC) of the Government of Myanmar, the University of Tokyo, and the Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA), in cooperation with ERIA. Specifically, this event looked at recent developments in the global energy arena, particularly in ASEAN, and discussed five possible energy policy directions by Myanmar.
Mr. U Zay Yar Aung, Minister of Energy, Chairman of NEMC, outlined the energy security challenges and the importance of rural electrification to accelerate economic growth in his inaugural speech. Prof. Nobuo Tanaka, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), outlined in his keynote presentation the need for ample supply of clean and affordable energy to support the rapid growth of Asian economies in general and Myanmar in particular. To achieve energy security, Myanmar must aggressively explore new supply sources and technology, and progressively integrate rural energy markets and infrastructure, he emphasized.
In the second half of the symposium, participants from various energy-related ministries presented policy proposals on energy technology and human resource development, electricity pricing, energy efficiency, energy market, and rural electrification based on six energy policy workshops held in September 2014-January 2015.
Dr. Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, Senior Economist at ERIA, joined the keynote speaker and other eminent persons in commenting on the policy proposals from the perspective of technical soundness and practical applicability. Moderated by Prof. Hisashi Yoshikawa, the discussion on the proposals also provided a common ground for senior officials across ministries and institutions and an opportunity for inter-ministerial coordination. The participants will revise the draft of the proposals, incorporating the comments received during the symposium, and present these to the NMEC in May 2015 for effective implementation.