There is significant potential for renewable energy in Southeast Asia and adopting newer and cleaner technologies is a key way to sustain the region’s growth. These were the findings of 38 clean technology (cleantech) companies from across the European Union (EU) who visited Singapore and Malaysia last October.
The European companies were participating in a week-long mission organised by EU Business Avenues - a European Commission-funded initiative that works to promote partnerships between European SMEs and companies based in Southeast Asia.
During the business mission, some of the EU’s most innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions from leading small and medium enterprises were on display in Singapore and Malaysia.
The participating companies covered a broad range of sectors and products, ranging from organic waste management solutions to advanced materials for construction and green building applications, PV modules, biomass and biomass facilities and cutting-edge power generation and co-generation technologies.
They showcased their wares at a two-day exhibition held alongside the Singapore International Energy Week at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in October, which attracted 500 business leaders, industry professionals and stakeholders.
In Malaysia, these SMEs from 16 EU companies met with government officials from several key ministries, including the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA), the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA).
Senior officials such as Dato’ Dr. Nadzri Bin Yahaya of KeTTHA told the SMEs that there were untapped capacities and growth prospects for the cleantech sector in Malaysia. He explained how supportive government policies had led to the rapid deployment of renewable energy projects such as in solar photovoltaic (PV) and biogas.
Ministry officials also highlighted the important role of private sector investment in Malaysia’s sustainable development, which would be crucial to the country’s ability to manage its energy and resource usage, as well as to plan its urban expansions in a sustainable manner.
“Private sector participation is essential to improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix in this region,” said Dr Michael Pulch, EU Ambassador to Singapore.
In Kuala Lumpur, the EU companies also met with Malaysian industry bodies, regulators such as the Energy Commission of Malaysia and local businesses that are active in the renewable energy sector.
This provided the European SMEs and local players with the opportunity to discuss the business environment, the heightened demand for renewable energy, and investment prospects.
“Malaysia is a very interesting market where things are moving at an incredible pace,” said Mr Dan Cristea, senior export manager at Optimedia, a large manufacturer of joineries and aluminium profiles using energy-efficient thermal insulating glass.
Private sector participation is essential to improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix in this region.
Dr Michael Pulch, EU Ambassador to Singapore
Dr Pulch added that by “actively exploring business opportunities and fostering the exchange of know-how and capabilities”, future business missions will help to meet Southeast Asia’s fast-rising energy requirements.
This will be achieved through introducing industry and government leaders a range of cleaner and more efficient alternatives that promote sustainable economic growth and improved well-being, he said.
On the back of the success of the first Southeast Asia trip, the EU Business Avenues programme is planning a new business mission this year called Clean Technologies 2015, which will focus on water, energy efficiency and environmental technologies.
It will bring another 40 SMEs from across the European Union to Southeast Asia. This business mission will take place in June 2015, with participating companies visiting Singapore and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City).
EU Business Avenues to Southeast Asia seeks to maximise and leverage the dynamic business environment in the ASEAN region to deliver significant trade and investment opportunities for EU companies and local players. It aims to promote and strengthen partnerships between European SMEs with unique technology offerings and companies based in South East Asia.
Clean Technologies 2014 was the first business mission organised by the EU Business Avenues pilot programme that accompanied leading European SMEs to Southeast Asia to explore tangible business opportunities in the cleantech sector. For more information, please contact email@example.com
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