The United States and Australia said Thursday that energy supply and security were issues of mutual interest and should be an ongoing item for bilateral discussion, and identified the first half of 2013 as a target date for the first round of such discussions.
The announcement was made in Australia following a meeting in Adelaide, South Australia between Martin Ferguson, Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism and the Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State.
During today’s meeting, Minister Ferguson and Secretary Clinton discussed the importance of global and regional governance architecture that supports reliability and security of competitively priced supply for resources and energy importers, and creates a framework for the participation of emerging economies.
According to the U.S. State Department, Ferguson and Clinton concluded that such architecture was crucial to maintaining economic stability and growth in the Asia-Pacific region, and emphasized their common view that open and transparent markets are instrumental to the delivery of the investment needed to ensure resources and energy supply security.
Australia’s ability to provide energy supply security to the region is assisting the growth of many countries, especially the major economies of China, India, the Republic of Korea and Japan, and Minister Ferguson and Secretary Clinton noted that the United States is the largest source of foreign investment capital in Australia, with cumulative investments estimated at over $550 billion in 2011, with Australia having over $400 billion invested in the United States.
Clinton and Ferguson noted that this robust and sophisticated bilateral investment relationship is particularly strong in the resources and energy sectors.
Joint efforts such as the U.S.-Australia Solar Energy Collaboration (USASEC) initiative, which aims to increase the speed of development in solar energy technologies, and for which Prime Minister Gillard and Secretary Clinton announced funding support of $12 million in November 2011, confirm that both Australia and the United States recognize that global energy security and concerns about the climate are driving the uptake of clean and efficient renewable energy technologies, the State Department said.
Discussions between the Australian Department of Resources, Energy, and Tourism and the United States Department of State in 2013 will also focus on strengthening our commitment to open and transparent energy and resource markets in multi-national fora such as the G20, IEA, WTO, APEC, East Asia Summit and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and through initiatives such as the multi-stakeholder Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which encourages country and company reporting on transactions between companies and government for extracting natural resources.