CNA – Following the success of the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore power integration project, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday called on ASEAN to continue working towards a joint power grid.
A regional power grid will strengthen energy security and resilience in member states, and advance regional decarbonisation, Lee said.
The Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore project shows that “multilateral power trading in the region is feasible”, said Lee during his intervention at the plenary session of the 42nd ASEAN summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia. Singapore started importing renewable energy from Laos through Thailand and Malaysia on June 23, 2022.
Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong in November provided an update on the project in a written parliamentary reply. He said more than 170,000 megawatt hours of electricity had been imported to Singapore from Laos from June 23 to October 31 that year, and this flow of electricity was “stable”.
At the plenary, Lee also said that member states can reap economic gains by improving people’s digital connectivity and literacy.
Singapore strongly supports Indonesia’s efforts to develop the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement, and welcomes the proposed Leaders’ Statement on the agreement that is expected to be issued later this year, he added.
“Economic integration has long been ASEAN’s priority and must always remain so. It underpins ASEAN centrality,” said Lee.
“We need to update and upgrade our core agreements, such as the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, to keep them relevant to evolving business practices.”
Beyond economic issues, ASEAN should also step up cooperation on transnational issues, Lee said. This includes protecting its people from “increasingly sophisticated” cross-border threats.
Adding that cybersecurity cooperation should also be enhanced, Lee noted the “good progress” made on the ASEAN Regional Computer Emergency Response Team proposal.
This proposal will strengthen regional cyber cooperation and incident response capabilities against sophisticated cyber threats, he said.