On the first day of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Kuwait on Tuesday evening, Indonesia asked Asian countries to focus on three E’s – energy, environment and education – to eradicate poverty, unemployment and achieve sustainable and equitable development.
“In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we have to utilize natural resources, cooperate with other Asian countries and develop infrastructure. So we have to focus on energy, environment and education,” head of the Indonesian delegation Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa tolf the summit.
Hatta added that the world was encountering many serious obstructions to equitable economic development. “We still feel the impact of the global crisis,” Hatta said.
The 32-member ACD summit could be an important platform for regional cooperation and promotion of clean energy. “If Asian countries focus on regional connectivity, we benefit in the areas of energy and transportation,” Hatta told The Jakarta Post and Antara news agency at the State Banquet for delegates of the Summit.
“There are 20 areas of potential cooperation. We need a blueprint for ACD regional connectivity and an action plan for cooperation,” Hatta said Key areas are poverty eradication, curbing unemployment, health, education, energy, food and transportation.
According to Hatta stability of oil prices was important, especially for economic development.
“If we don’t have stability in oil prices, how can we focus on our development programs like poverty and jobs? It is not be easy to have stability in oil prices, given the complex issues, including international politics and supply and demand, involved in it,” Hatta said.
“ACD is an important forum where we can have a dialogue between oil producers and consumers on the issue of oil prices stability”.
Indonesia is the co-prime mover in the energy sector at the ACD forum.
According to Hatta, Indonesia put forward a proposal to give priority to developing new energy sources and cutting fossil fuels to cut global carbon emissions.
“In order to develop renewable energy resources, we need new investments and technology. We are asking ACD countries to invest in the new energy sector and infrastructure projects to boost regional connectivity,” Hatta said.
Hatta met Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Oil Minister Hani Hussain on Tuesday to discuss Kuwaiti investment plans and bilateral cooperation.
Echoing a similar view, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah wants ACD members to focus on education.
“We seek opportunity for our youth and to join hands with our partners in the Asian continent for the development of education,” Bolkiah said.
Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman said that Asia has vast natural resources and huge markets. “Many countries are major exporters of food, when others are totally dependent on food imports. Many countries have made impressive progress in modern technology to boost food production,” Rahman said. “It would be beneficial to share the technology among Asian countries.”
Thanks for reading to the end of this story!
We would be grateful if you would consider joining as a member of The EB Circle. This helps to keep our stories and resources free for all, and it also supports independent journalism dedicated to sustainable development. For a small donation of S$60 a year, your help would make such a big difference.