Standards Advancing in Southeast Asia Despite Currency Crisis
In Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, key leaders are redefining the Asian economic crisis as an opportunity. Because fuel imports exacerbate the depletion of foreign exchange, the time is opportune for accelerating development of energy efficiency initiatives. Energy efficiency is publicly explained as critical to long-term national economic development. The directors of Thailand's National Energy Policy Office even mobilized military cavalcades to escort a citizen bike ride in Bangkok to reduce fuel consumption and help the country. Saving energy has become patriotic.
Strong efficiency programs, particularly in the Philippines and Thailand, predated the economic downturn. The standards and labeling activities are now being vigorously enhanced.