Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, S Iswaran, says Singapore is seriously considering electricity imports from its neighbours to add to its energy mix.
Speaking at the 4th ASEAN and Asia Forum (AAF) organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, he said Singapore is currently reviewing its regulatory framework and studying various trading models that could facilitate electricity imports in the medium term.
This will help ensure competitively or lower-priced energy prices, and improve Singapore's energy security.
Mr Iswaran, who is also the Second Minister for Trade and Industry, said ASEAN governments must come together and take the lead to ensure that energy does not become a limiting factor in the region's growth.
In his opening keynote address at the AAF, Mr Iswaran commented on the rise of Asia as a major engine of growth. Trade patterns are shifting to be more Asia-centric. While the European Union and United States are still important trade partners, trade with China and rest of Asia is growing at brisk clip, and intra-ASEAN trade is a particularly strong growth area.
But growth comes with increased demand for energy. This increased energy demand due to economic growth comes amidst oil and gas price volatility and setbacks to nuclear power after Fukushima.
Thus ASEAN must step up regional cooperation on energy security.
Mr Iswaran said it's imperative that infrastructural connectivity be speeded up through projects such as the ASEAN Power Grid and the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline.
The case for regional energy cooperation "has never been stronger", he added.
Yesterday's forum at the Capella Singapore hotel was attended by more than 300 business leaders, policymakers and industry experts who discussed energy, economic and environment issues and their implications for South-east Asia.
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