VIENTIANE, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Laos is looking forward to greater cooperation with its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) partners to solve the challenging issues on coal development as part of support for the region's economic growth, government officials said.
The remarks were made by Head of Office of the Ministry of Energy and Mines Daovong Phonekeo, at the 16th ASEAN Forum on Coal Council Meeting in Lao capital Vientiane, Local daily Vientiane Times reported Friday.
The Council is actively promoting the development and utilization of cleaner coal technologies in the ASEAN member states. Council members expressed their commitment to supporting and implementing the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation program on Clean Coal Technology.
Daovong said energy development in ASEAN including Laos has contributed to economic growth with gross domestic product rising significantly. He pointed out that Laos' energy development generates funding for the support of other development sectors.
The Council would continue to discuss the challenging issues on coal cooperation and development in the integrated ASEAN Economic Community as well as the new concept of economic linkage related to energy development, the minister said.
Topics for discussion at the meeting included clean coal technology and carbon capture storage to achieve the energy sustainable development goals.
"The discussions taking place during the council meeting will not only allow staffs from ASEAN member countries to upgrade their technical know-how but will also allow accessible technology transfer to all Asean energy development areas," Daovong said.
The latest International Energy Agency report indicated that Southeast Asia had been the third-largest investor in coal-fired power generation behind China and India since 2000, pouring in 66 billion U.S. dollars.