Visitors to the Kazakhstan Pavilion at the exhibition during the Specialized Exhibition EXPO-2017 is "Energy of the Future" in Astana, Kazakhstan, 11 June 2017. Malaysia and Kazakhstan have agreed to work together to identify ways of implementing green technology programmes.

ASTANA: Malaysia and Kazakhstan have agreed to work together to identify ways of implementing green technology programmes.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see bilateral cooperations in renewable energy, green buildings, smart cities, and carbon emission mitigation.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili and Kazakhstan vice Energy minister Gani Sadibekov signed the MoU at the Malaysia Energy Forum held in conjunction with the ongoing Expo 2017.

The MoU will contribute to the RM1 billion in trade and investments that Malaysia aims to secure at Expo 2017.

In 2015, the volume of trade between Malaysia and Kazakhstan was about RM 429.5 million (USD100 million). The figure dropped slightly to RM360.7 million (USD84 million) last year as a result of foreign exchange fluctuations.

“The cooperation will serve our common interests and contribute to the enhancement of the economic and social development of the people of both countries.

“Malaysia’s relationship with Kazakhstan is already bearing fruit with 99 per cent of the trade volume between the two nations involving Kazakhstan importing products from Malaysia, such as wood, marble, electronic chips and palm oil.

“Malaysia has a lot of experience in the green technology field, which can contribute to Kazakhstan realising its goal for renewable energy to contribute to half of its energy needs by 2050,” Maximus said.

The theme of the Malaysia Energy Forum was “Tapping the Potential of the Asean Energy Market”. It was attended by 150 delegates, including government officials, corporate leaders and advocates in the energy space.

The forum is one of many programmes organised by Malaysia during Expo 2017 to showcase the nation’s emerging market leadership in Green Growth.

It is a platform for vibrant discussions centred on how Asean countries can balance their energy needs to meet a growing economy and institutionalising the climate agenda in their energy policies.

“We believe that the future lies in sustainable energy. With renewable resources such as hydro, solar, bioenergy and even geothermal in abundance in Malaysia, we want to fully utilise our resources to achieve the vision of a nation driven by sustainable energy.

“In 2013, Asean’s electricity produced from renewable energy sources accounted for about 21 per cent of total electricity generation in the region.

“Asean as a region must continue to strengthen regional cooperation especially in sharing best practices in energy development and utilisation in order to increase its effectiveness in facing global challenges,” Maximus added.

Apart from Maximus other panelists in the forum were Dr. Peter du Pont of Climate Change Team Lead, USAID Asia; Dr. Sanjayan Velautham, Executive Director of Asean Energy Centre; Frank Haugwitz, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar), Advisory Co. Ltd. Director: and Dan Millison, Transcendergy, LLC manager.

Dr. Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, Non-Independent Non-Executive Chairman of UEM Group and Chairman of ESOS Committee chaired the forum.

Asean, which is comprised of 10 nations and is home to approximately 625 million people, is estimated to have 100 million people who do not have access to electricity.

Demand for electricity is expected to increase at an annual rate of 5.8 per cent over the next 20 years, making access to clean and affordable energy of growing vital importance.

Drawing upon this demand as well as the theme of Future Energy for Expo 2017, Malaysia believes there is huge potential in the Asean energy market.

While energy transition is a megatrend adopted by many countries, in the Asean region coal and petroleum maintain a strong foothold in the energy mix in both the electricity and transportation sectors.

Themed “Future Energy”, Expo 2017 aims to create global debate between countries, non-governmental organisations, companies and the general public regarding the decisive impact that energy management has on the lives of people and that of the planet.

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