Fourth Hemispheric Energy Ministers Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana

July 30, 1999

Energy Business Forum Of The Americas
For The Hemispheric Energy Initiative

The energy sectors of the countries of the Americas are a key element in the successful development of the economies of the Hemisphere. Important changes are already underway as governments seek to put in place policies that will provide their populations with the energy needed to advance their economies and their social development. The Hemispheric Energy Initiative (HEI) was inaugurated at the Miami Summit to ensure the coordination of national efforts to promote sustainable energy development consistent with the goals adopted at this Summit. This effort was endorsed at the second Summit of the Americas in Santiago.

The input from the business sector is one of the essential elements for the realization of the objectives of the HEI. It will ensure that the discussions and decisions that are made within HEI are fully informed about its concerns and points of view.

The Ministers encouraged the energy business sector established in the Hemisphere to organize itself into, a Business Forum. The Ministers agreed to facilitate an interchange of ideas and perspectives between the business sector and government officials of the energy sector on issues related to the implementation of the commitments on energy adopted in the Action Plans of the Miami and Santiago Summits of the Americas.

Ministers will invite the Business Forum to meetings in coincidence with Ministerial Meetings. The Steering Committee may invite the Business Forum to provide them with other inputs, as appropriate. The Business Forum may identify issues of concern and convey these to the Steering Committee or the Ministers.

The Ministers requested the Steering Committee of the HEI to coordinate the relationship between the Business Forum and the Hemispheric Energy Initiative.

The Business Forum may present its views and opinions to the Governments during the joint meeting with the Ministers or in writing through the Coordinating Secretariat.

The Steering Committee, through the Coordinating Secretariat, if requested, may provide assistance for the organization of the first Business Forum meeting.