Philippines Advances Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Development Cooperation at Australia-ASEAN Business Forum
29 JUNE 2023, SYDNEY – Top industry leaders from ASEAN countries and Australia gathered at the Sydney International Convention Center to facilitate dialogue and investment opportunities on renewable energy, infrastructure development, agriculture and food security, digital transformation and innovation, and sustainable commercial and property development at the Australia-ASEAN Business Forum held on 26 June 2023.
With “Partnership for Growth” as the theme of the Forum, ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia, and former Philippine Defense Secretary and now Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chairman Delfin Lorenzana represented the Philippines as panelists in the renewable energy and infrastructure development sessions.
ACEN is the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group which launched the largest solar farm in Australia in Uralla in March 2023. Meanwhile, the BCDA is a government corporation tasked with developing former military bases into economic hubs in the Philippines.
Mr. Francia underscored the importance of achieving scalability to attract capital markets, drive diversification and optimize energy resources which has allowed ACEN to successfully enter into Australia’s renewable energy market. In order to fast track the clean energy transition, Mr. Francia highlighted the crucial role of carbon markets and suggested that the early retirement of coal power plants before it has fully utilized its useful life should qualify for carbon credits in order to accelerate the retirement of coal plants.
Chairman Lorenzana discussed the Philippines’ initiatives to boost infrastructure investments in the country and in enhancing the accessibility of Clark to neighboring countries in alignment with President Bongbong Marcos’ Build Better More infrastructure program.
The Forum, which was supported by the ASEAN Committee in Canberra, was attended by around 500 participants and featured business leaders and experts in Southeast Asia and Australia, including Australia’s Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing Hon Tim Ayres MP and Australia's Special Envoy for Southeast Asia Mr. Nicholas Moore.
ASEAN is Australia’s second-largest trading partner. Two-way trade between Australia and Asean reached A$150 billion in 2021-22, exceeding that of the European Union at A$97 billion and the United States at A$77 billion. - END