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Cablegate: Fifth Semi-Annual Meeting of South Asia

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

171001Z Jun 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 001065

SIPDIS

AIDAC

STATE FOR SA, DON CAMP AND LARRY ROBINSON
USAID/ANE FOR WENDY CHAMBERLIN AND GORDON WEST
USAID/EGAT FOR GRIFFIN THOMPSON
NSC FOR ELIZABETH MILLARD
MANILA PASS TO USED/ADB
USDOE FOR TOM CUTLER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: NONE ECONOMICS
SUBJECT: FIFTH SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING OF SOUTH ASIA
REGIONAL INITIATIVE FOR ENERGY (SARI/ENERGY)


1. SUMMARY. THE FIFTH SARI/ENERGY SEMI-ANNUAL REVIEW
MEETING WAS HELD IN COLOMBO, SRI LANKA ON JUNE 9-10,
2003. IN TOTAL 75 PARTICIPANTS ATTENDED OF WHICH 35 WERE
HOST COUNTRY STAKEHOLDERS FROM BANGLADESH, BHUTAN, INDIA,
MALDIVES, NEPAL, AND SRI LANKA. OTHER ATTENDEES WERE
REPRESENTATIVES FROM USAID WASHINGTON AND SOUTH ASIA
FIELD MISSIONS, U.S. EMBASSIES IN SOUTH ASIA, U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, AND IMPLEMENTING CONTRACTORS AND
GRANTEES. IN AN INTERNAL USG DISCUSSION ON THE FINAL
DAY, PARTICIPANTS APPROVED THE PROGRAM DESCRIPTION FOR
AUTHORIZATION OF A SECOND PHASE. THEY RECOMMENDED:

A) INCREASE LIFE OF PROGRAM (LOP) FUNDING FROM $50
MILLION TO $65 MILLION AND EXTEND PROGRAM
COMPLETION DATE TO SEPTEMBER 2008.

B) ESTIMATED ANNUAL FUNDING LEVEL FOR FY 2003 IS $8.5
MILLION, FOR FY 2004 IS $7.5 MILLION AND IS $5
MILLION THEREAFTER WITH A SIMPLIFIED IMPLEMENTATION
MECHANISM.

C) A SHIFT IN FOCUS TO ADDRESS SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS
OF REGIONAL ENERGY COOPERATION, A BROADER RANGE OF
STAKEHOLDERS INCLUDING THE MEDIA, AND GREATER
INVOLVEMENT OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AS CENTERS OF
EXCELLENCE.

D) CONTINUATION OF ACTIVITIES IN REGIONAL ENERGY
SECURITY, REGULATORY REFORMS, DISTRIBUTION REFORM
WITH EMPHASIS ON RURAL ENERGY AND ENERGY
EFFICIENCY.

E) FUNDING FOR ACTIVITIES BEYOND FY 2006 IS CONTINGENT
UPON A SATISFACTORY ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS. END
SUMMARY.

2. THE FIFTH SARI/ENERGY SEMI-ANNUAL REVIEW MEETING WAS
HELD TO (A) REVIEW ACHIEVEMENTS AND LESSONS LEARNED
FROM THE LAST TWO AND HALF YEARS OF PROGRAM
IMPLEMENTATION; (B) FINALIZE THE PROGRAM FOCUS FOR PHASE
II; AND (C) GET HOST COUNTRY STAKEHOLDER BUY-IN FOR THE
ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.

3. CONTRACTORS AND GRANTEES (ACADEMY FOR EDUCATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT, CORE INTERNATIONAL INC., DEPARTMENT OF
ENERGY/ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION, NEXANT INC.,
U.S. ENERGY ASSOCIATION, AND U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE)
PRESENTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM THEIR
PAST TWO AND HALF YEARS' ACTIVITIES AND PROVIDED
ILLUSTRATIVE FOLLOW-ON ACTIVITIES.

4. IN THE INTERNAL USG DISCUSSION ON THE FINAL DAY,
PARTICIPANTS AGREED ON THE PROGRAM DESCRIPTION,NEW LOP
FUNDING CEILING AND PROGRAM ACTIVITIES COMPLETION DATE
(PACD), AND IMPLEMENTATION MECHANISMS FOR A SECOND PHASE.

A) A CONTINUATION OF THE PROGRAM BASED ON REALISTIC
ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT REGIONAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TRENDS,
PROVIDING CONTINUED ENGAGEMENT AND ABILITY TO RAMP UP
QUICKLY IN THE EVENT OF MAJOR OPPORTUNITIES.

B) A SIMPLIFIED IMPLEMENTATION MECHANISM FOR DEALING
WITH STAKEHOLDERS.

C) A SHIFT IN FOCUS TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF
REGIONAL ENERGY COOPERATION, A BROADER RANGE OF
STAKEHOLDERS INCLUDING MEDIA, AND GREATER INVOLVEMENT OF
REGIONAL CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE.

5. NEXT STEPS. (A) ANE/SPO WILL STEER THE PROGRAM
AUTHORIZATION FOR PHASE II BY ANE/AA; (B) ACTIVITIES OF
EXISTING CONTRACTORS/ GRANTEES WILL BE BROUGHT TO
CONCLUSION BY DECEMBER 2003; (C) RCO/NEW DELHI WILL
COMPLETE NEGOTIATIONS AND AWARD CONTRACT TO A NEW
INSTITUTIONAL CONTRACTOR THROUGH OPEN COMPETITION BY
SEPTEMBER 2003.

6. THIS CABLE HAS BEEN CLEARED BY USAID AND/OR EMBASSY
REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL PARTICIPATING POSTS.

NOVAK

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