As the Belt and Road Initiative continues to expand and deepen, infrastructure interconnectivity has been scaled up, and industrial investment has expanded. Propelled by growing energy and power demands with rapid economic and social development, the Belt and Road countries are building power infrastructure and modernizing their energy markets and industrial chains. From its own experience of promoting domestic energy transition and low-carbon power development, China has accumulated a wealth of know-how in policy formulation, infrastructure investment and construction. Chinese investors and enterprises in the power generation industries actively participate in international cooperation and propose projects in thorough alignment with local policies. Driven by domestic and foreign policies and markets, energy and power infrastructures have become an important area of China's foreign investment and cooperation, and played a vital role in infrastructure interconnectivity in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Southeast Asia benefits from abundant energy resources that allows considerable development potential. With the acceleration of global integration and rapid regional economic and social development, Southeast Asia has become a hotbed for global investment in renewable and fossil power infrastructure. However, due to factors such as easy fossil resource availability, energy security concerns, and priority on energy access, the energy plans of most countries are still dominated by fossil energy in the short to medium term, which is not conducive to the realization of regional and global climate change and sustainable development goals. Therefore, combinations of policy instrument and international cooperation that channel domestic and foreign capital into low-carbon and green renewable energy infrastructure will be instrumental for the green transition of the energy and power sector in Southeast Asia. At the same time, China needs to improve its foreign investment policies to encourage investors to fully consider environmental, climate, and energy risks in their investment activities, to promote high-quality and sustainable development of foreign investment, and to exert its positive green influence and leading role in international energy and climate governance.
This report reviews Southeast Asia's energy and power policies, goals, status quo and trends, as well as China's foreign investment strategic planning and policy system and its role in Southeast Asian power infrastructure development, and on this basis, examines the opportunities and challenges for China's engagement in Southeast Asian power infrastructure. Through case studies based on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, this report provides recommendations for cooperation between the Chinese government and host countries in the field of power infrastructure investment to formulate and improve foreign investment policies, as well as for Chinese investors in power infrastructure in Southeast Asia.
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