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Joint Press Statement (Trilateral - between Minister for Energy of Myanmar, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India)

January 13, 2005

  • Substantial natural gas reserves have been found in offshore and on-shore structures, including the North Eastern blocks of the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Myanmar. In addition, sizeable quantities of natural gas reserves have been found in on-shore structures in the North Eastern regions of Bangladesh and India as also on-shore in Myanmar. The speedy implementation of development programmes by all the Governments of the region and accelerating economic growth is boosting a huge market for natural gas in the region requiring the regional development of energy sources and infrastructure for the delivery of the gas to consuming centres. In concert with parallel developments in other segments of the power and energy sector, a new era of cooperation is opening up for the countries of the region.
  • To harness this win-win opportunity, the Honorable Minister for Energy of Myanmar, H.E. Brig. Gen. Lun Thi took the initiative to convene a Tripartite Ministerial Meeting between himself, the State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. A.K.M. Mosharraf Hossain, and the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Panchayati Raj of the Republic of India, H.E. Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, in Yangon, on 12-13 January, 2005.
  • The following was agreed to by the three Governments:-
    1. The Government of Myanmar agrees to export natural gas to India by pipeline through the territory of Bangladesh and India to be operated by an international consortium as may be agreed upon by the parties concerned, based upon technical and commercial feasibility. The Governments of Bangladesh and India reserve the right to access the pipeline as and when required, including injecting and siphoning off their own natural gas; details in this regard will be worked out on the basis of commercial agreements. The route of the pipeline may be determined by mutual agreement of the three Governments with a view to ensuring adequate access, maximum security and optimal economic utilization.
    2. The Governments of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, represented by their respective Ministers and delegations, recognizing the unique potential for developing energy resources and related infrastructure needed to access and deliver energy to various parts of the region, agree to set up an appropriate mechanism for cooperation between and among themselves to pursue their common goal of development for all the people of the region.
    3. The Governments of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar agree to establish a Techno–Commercial Working Committee comprising duly designated representatives of the three Governments. The Working Committee shall:
      1. identify areas of cooperation, collaboration and investment to develop natural gas resources, infrastructure and marketing in the region; and,
      2. deliberate and advise the three Governments on policy issues as set out in Para 3(i) above such as pipeline routing, access-related issues as well as technical and commercial matters.
    4. The first meeting of the Committee will be held in Yangon within a month with a view to preparing a draft Memorandum of Understanding which will be concluded and signed at Dhaka at the earliest mutual convenience of the three Governments.
  • The Governments of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar agree to pursue both trilateral and bilateral cooperation to promote, develop and implement projects and forums to augment the utilization and development of energy resources and related infrastructure in the region.
  • The Governments of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar agree to exchange relevant information to jointly promote energy surveys; develop upstream, downstream and other energy-related projects; and jointly recommend measures for the development and expansion of access to energy for the benefit of people of the region.
  • The Governments of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar agree to continue keeping contact with each other at the Ministerial level and to meet both trilaterally and bilaterally at regular intervals in order to update each other on the measures being taken relating to the development of activities in their respective countries in regard to natural gas and, more generally, the power and energy sector.
  • With respect to issues of bilateral cooperation which impinge on their trilateral cooperation, such as hydroelectricity and other diversified sources of energy supply, trade and transit, the Ministers of the three countries agreed that such bilateral issues will continue to be pursued bilaterally. In this context, they agreed to recommend to their respective governments the importance of evaluating issues relevant to bringing their nations closer to each other by establishing policy frameworks which will augment practical measures for further economic cooperation and collaboration among themselves. The Ministers further noted that energy cooperation is being promoted within the framework of initiatives in BIMSTEC and SAARC and agreed that these initiatives need to be pursued vigorously.
  • The Ministers of Bangladesh and India place on record their high appreciation of the leadership as well as hospitality and cooperation extended by H.E. Brig. Gen. Lun Thi, Minister for Energy of the Government of the Union of Myanmar, in convening this historic Tripartite Ministerial Meeting in Yangon.

January 13, 2005


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