Monday, May 14, 2007

Biofuel initiative will benefit all regional nations


The Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand will spearhead efforts to come
up with common biofuel standards that will allow them to export biofuels
with less hassle, according to Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla.

"Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia have something in common in
terms of having a strong agricultural base. Therefore we are in a
position to develop the biofuel sector," Lotilla said.

"So it is in the common interest of East Asian countries that we push
now for the development of common standards, so that the tradeability of
biofuels will be enhanced in the future."

Lotilla, who attended a recent energy ministers' meeting in Riyadh, said
Thai Energy Minister Piyavasti Amaranand had agreed that Thailand and
the Philippines should work together in building up the biofuel sector
in various international forums.

A separate meeting with Indonesian special envoy Alwi Shihab yielded the
same results, Lotilla said. He quoted Shihab as saying the Philippines,
Indonesia and Thailand should ensure that biofuels and vehicles using
them were not hampered by "artificial barriers to trade".

Lotilla said the Philippines proposed a workshop that would allow
countries in the region to exchange information on the status of their
national efforts in developing biofuel standards and determine steps for
moving forward.

"The three countries have agreed to come up with the common standards so
that we will be able to share this with other countries as well,"
Lotilla said. "We're organising that workshop for a levelling of
standards among the different East Asian countries."


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