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First meeting of Task Force on promoting regional electricity cooperation in Central and Southern Asia

Countries from Central and Southern Asia have agreed to use the Energy Charter framework as a means to intensify and develop cross-border electricity trade.

This was the result of a high-level workshop on Electricity Cooperation in Central and Southern Asia, which was organised by the Energy Charter Secretariat together with the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Fuel Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, with financial support from the Government of Norway.

At the meeting in Bishkek, the delegations of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan agreed a Declaration, which recommends developing a framework for sustainable and secure regional power trade based on the principles of the Energy Charter, and also the establishment of a task force made up of representatives of the countries concerned together with other stakeholders such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Current levels of cross-border trade in this region are far below actual potential, and the aim of the cooperation is to explore and utilise opportunities to expand cross-border energy trade.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Igor Chudinov, Minister of Energy, Industry and Fuel Resources of Kyrgyzstan, recognised that countries across the region stand to benefit from enhanced cooperation in the electricity sector, and he acknowledged the important role that the Energy Charter can play in facilitating an increase in energy trade. On behalf of the Energy Charter Secretariat, the Director for Trade, Transit and Relations with Non-signatories Ralf Dickel emphasised that the

"Energy Charter provides both a multilateral legal basis and a policy forum for promoting new cross-border links".

Of the countries participating in the Bishkek meeting, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are all full Contracting Parties to the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), a multilateral framework for international cooperation that is designed to promote energy trade and investment as well as efficient energy use. Pakistan's request for accession to the Treaty was approved unanimously by the existing ECT member states in November 2006, and Afghanistan is currently negotiating accession to the Treaty after becoming an observer state at a ceremony in Kabul in August 2006. The World Bank is also an observer to the Energy Charter.

In addition to countries and organisations having formal status with the Energy Charter Process, India was represented at the meeting by Professor Mahendra Lama from the Centre for South, Central & South East Asian Studies, Jawarhalal Nehru University, who emphasised the importance for India to be involved in this regional dialogue. The declaration and the initiative to support regional electricity cooperation were also fully supported by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Following a proposal from the Energy Charter Secretariat and an invitation from the Government of Afghanistan, it is anticipated that a follow-up meeting on this initiative will take place later this year in Kabul.

Programme and Presentations

Welcome speech and opening remarks (in Russian)
by Mr Igor Chudinov, the Minister of Energy, Industry and Fuel Resources of Kyrgyz Republic

Welcoming Speech on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (in Russian)
by Jeenbek Kulubaev, Director, International Cooperation Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Introduction to the Workshop
by Mr Ralf Dickel, Director of Trade, Transit and Relation with Non-signatories, Energy Charter Secretariat

Presentation of the Study

Supply-demand balance, existing infrastructure and regulatory requirements for electricity trade in between Central Asian and with selected South Asian countries
by Mr Durga N. Raina

Country presentations in brief on current and prospective cross-border projects and trade

Demand side

by Mr Mukhtar Ahmad, Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan

Pakistan - Energy Map

by Mr Mahendra Lama, Center for South, Central &South East Asian Studies, Jawarhal Nehru University, India


by Mr Nasir Andisha, Director, Multilateral Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Afghanistan

Promoting Central Asia - South Asia Regional Power Trade

by Mr Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, Energy Specialist of the Infrastructure Division, Central and West Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

Generation and Supply

Introductory Remarks (in Russian)
by Mr Turdakun Usubaliev, Prominent Public Figure, Former Head of the FSU Kyrgyz Republic (1961-1985)

by Mr Pulat Muhiddinov, First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy and Industry of Tajikistan

Presentation (in Russian)
by Mr Joldoshbek Nazarov, Deputy General Director, of JSC "Electric Stations", Kyrgyz Republic

Presentation (in Russian)
by Dr Valentina Kasymova, Energy Advisor, International Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of Kyrgyz Republic

Thermal electric systems - existing agreement and infrastructure for power exchange

by Mr Sergei Katyshev, Director of Project Management Department and Advisor to President of KEGOC, Kazakhstan

Presentation (in Russian)
by Mr  Khamidulla Shamsiev, Head of Dispatch Department, JSC "Uzbekenergo", Uzbekistan

Example of energy export infrastructure projects using the framework of the Energy Charter Treaty (Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan and Baku Tbilisi Erzurum pipelines)

by Ms Thea Khitarishvili, Energy Charter Secretariat

The way forward

Panel discussion

Concluding remarks