Posted at 4:55 PM
On December 14-15, 2016, Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives Dawn Yamane Hewett addressed the inaugural “Indo-Asia Connectivity for Shared Prosperity” Conference in Kolkata, India on behalf of the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP). The conference brought together U.S. Ambassadors from the region, United States government officials, private sector representatives, and civil society representatives and senior representatives from regional governments including Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. The goal of the conference was to provide a forum to exchange information between the different groups as part of a join effort to increase trade and connectivity in South Asia.
The Conference had four parallel tracks focused on different sectors of the economies: Maritime and Inland Waterways Connectivity; Energy Cooperation; Improving Trade and Investment Opportunities; and a Bay of Bengal Business Forum. Ms. Hewett addressed the issue of energy cooperation as part of a panel titled “Developing a Sub-Regional Energy Cooperation Framework.” The panel focused on the current efforts to expand cross-border energy infrastructure and developing the capacity of governments to facilitate energy trading. During her remarks, Ms. Hewett focused on the need for transparent and predictable rules for private investment, improved legal and regulatory infrastructure for cross-border energy trading, and harmonization of regulatory frameworks for project tendering and project development.
Ms. Hewett’s participation in the Kolkata conference was part of CLDP ongoing programming in South Asia focused on energy sector development. Through the guidance and support of the State Department - Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs’ Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor Initiative, CLDP has been working alongside the governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to develop a regional energy trading framework to facilitates both public and private participation.