The US on Wednesday said it is committed to supporting India in advancing the shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and the two countries are working together on connectivity and economic development in the region. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced three regional energy programmes in South Asia, valued at more than $28 million, through the US government’s Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (Asia EDGE) initiative that would improve access to affordable, secure, reliable, and sustainable energy through expanded, transparent, and efficient energy markets, according to a statement by the US embassy.
“The embassy said the US and India are working together on connectivity and economic development in the region. The three programmes will be vital to achieving Asia EDGE’s goals across the Indo-Pacific — the South Asia Group for Energy (SAGE), the South Asia Regional Energy Hub (SAREH), and the planned South Asia Regional Energy Partnership (SAREP)," it said.
Speaking on the announcement of the programmes, US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster said, “The United States is committed to supporting India in advancing our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US Government, through USAID, will leverage its technical expertise, regional presence, and convening power to assist the South Asia region in overcoming energy constraints and achieve long-term economic growth and stability." Through these three programmes, USAID will award funding to South Asian and US experts who will develop energy models and evaluate proposed energy solutions; to legal teams who will assist with effective government regulation; and to research and development, ensuring that South Asian countries identify more energy solutions, it said.
The programmes will allow energy to move more freely and efficiently across the region’s borders. SAREH, SAGE, and SAREP will benefit the countries of South Asia, creating new opportunities through advanced energy technologies, the statement said.