Most of efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to enhance energy co-operation are directed inwards, but insufficient attention is being given to addressing the external dimensions of collective energy strategy. ASEAN members, both individually and collectively, face a number of threats to their energy sectors that have external sources. These include the growing involvement of powerful Asian actors in the region, an increasing vulnerability to disruptions in international energy markets, and a shortage of inwards investment and service provision in the energy sector. In addition to actively pursuing energy market integration, ASEAN should develop a coherent external energy strategy that includes developing coherent approaches to managing relations with large Asian energy importers and their energy companies, managing maritime disputes, enhancing relations with key energy exporters, and speaking with one voice in an energy crisis. In addition, steps must be taken to attract the flow of investment, technology and services related to clean energy and energy efficiency.
By Philip Andrews-Speed, Principal Fellow, Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore
Christopher Len, Principal Fellow, Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore
Seksan Anantasirikiat, Academic Officer, ASEAN Studies Centre, Chulalongkorn University