Cross-border energy trade is crucial for providing cheaper and cost competitive energy to the consumers, according to energy sector experts, as they stressed on the transboundary power trading for regional energy security.
Cross-border energy trade is a win-win situation for the south Asian countries, Mohammad Hossain, director general of Power Cell – a wing of the Power Division, told a seminar in Dhaka on Wednesday.
At the two-day long seminar jointly organised by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, he said, "Bangladesh has been working with its neighbouring nations to make this area more active for regional energy security."
Cross border energy trade means trading of energy between countries sharing a common border through an interconnected infrastructure. The network shall not only be limited to two countries, but constitute an energy pool that involves export or import of energy between different countries.
Waseqa A Khan, chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, said rather than being obsessed with how much it would cost to extend the cross-border energy trade, Bangladesh should consider how much effect it would have on the socio-economy of the region.
"From this perspective, the cross-border energy trade must go on," she said.
Pankaj Batra, project director of the South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy, said the South Asian countries have a diversified resource to meet their energy demand.
"If we combinedly see their resources, we will see a whole energy solution for the region where every country can meet their energy demand by sharing resources belonging to others," he said.
M Humayun Kabir, a former ambassador and president of the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, gave the welcome address in the opening session, while the institute's senior research director Faiz Sobhan gave a presentation about the institution.
Following the opening session, two technical sessions were held where the enterprise institute Research Director Prof Shahab Enam Khan and international relationship expert Prof Amena Mohsin spoke.
Research Director of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) Mahfuz Kabir presented the keynote in the first technical session.
On Wednesday, the closing day of the seminar, two more sessions will be held.