UKRAINE AND COUNTRIES of NORTH AFRICA: CONTEMPORARY PARTNERSHIP AND PERSPECTIVE OF DEVELOPMENT
Last time the majority of world states began to attract attention to the North African region. The important role in this play noticeable displacements in process of civil truce in Algeria, breakthrough in the solution of sanctions problem with regard to Libya, improvement of economic conjuncture in row of region states. Side by side with attempts of different states to make more active the trade-economic relations with African countries, the representatives of business Ukraine circles are also interested in the making of mutually beneficial bilateral relations with countries of given region. From the beginning of this century the improvement of conjuncture of world energy market assisted to reinforce the condition of economy and to raise solvency of North African countries, which during previous decade experienced serious financial-economic difficulties. This enabled them to strengthen a partnership with states l in trade relations, in particular with Ukraine, and provide its population with necessary economic resources. In this article the attention will be given to current conditions and to perspective directions of Ukraine partnership with North African states (Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia), which considerably improved from the beginning of current decade.
This time the relations between Ukraine and Egypt are developing sufficiently fruitfully. From the time of USSR being the Ukraine part in Egyptian export was very considerable. It is worth to mention that in 1997 the Ukraine-Egyptian tractor-making factory was founded in Alexandria. The Ukraine partook in building of phosphate plant in Abou-Tourtur. In July 2000 the Ukrainian and Egyptian sides signed the agreement on creation of permanently operating Trade Center with the object to advertise the Egyptian commodities and guarantees of financial rights of Egyptian exporters during the realization of export operations in Ukraine. In 2001 the general constructor of Ukrainian State designer bureau “South" Stanislav Konyukhov and the Head of National agency on distance sounding and cosmic researches of Egypt professor М.А.Yahya signed contract on project of creation Ukraine-Egyptian satellite “Egyptsat-1".
During the Ukraine-Egyptian Summit in December 2002 the issues of expansion of trade-economic partnership in branches of civil aviation, cosmic researches, engines production and equipment were considered. The Ukraine is interested in import of grain, fruits, cotton, clothes from Egypt. From its side, the Ukrainian owners are ready to export in Egypt metal products, production of high-precise electronics. The Egyptian leadership is interested to import of Ukrainian grain and to export to Ukraine the Egyptian commodities of wide consumption. The scales of two-sided collaboration will clearly designate if we apply to the economic indexes. For example, during 2002 year the turnover between two states exceeded 200 mln. $. USA.
The partnership of two states in scientific sphere considerably improved in last years. Between The Ukraine National Academy of sciences and scientific circles of Egypt signed the treaty on establishment of joint institution on electric welding technology. Among perspective collaboration branches between Ukraine and Egypt the hydraulic engineering, geochemistry, building gas- and oil pipe-lines, aircraft, cosmic technologies should be mentioned. The partnership can be fruitfully developed in such branches, as electric power engineering, chemical production, mountain extraction, production of glass and ceramic wares. Nowadays in Ukraine the teachers of Arabic from leading Egypt higher institutes are working. The issue on probation period of better Ukrainian students in Cairo and Alexandria universities is solved (1).
The definite break in Ukraine-Egyptian collaboration can be take place in such traditional branch for two states, as tourism. So, a list of already reputed for Ukrainian tourists Egyptian cities (Cairo, Alexandria, Khourgada) can be replenish by sea-coast cities of Sinai, oases of Western desert and Aswan. In its turn, the Egyptian tourists can open for oneself the curative Odessa health-resorts, Karpats, Crimea. The Ukrainian side has possibility and desire to adopt participation in building of tourist infrastructure of Egypt, in particular hotels, camping, littoral rest zones.
The partnership is also developing between Ukraine and Morocco. According to the statement secretary of state on foreign affairs of Morocco Т.F.Fihri, the Morocco kingdom is interested in active developing of relations and political dialogue with Ukraine. Morocco and Ukraine signed the agreements on trade development and attracting of investments in economies of two countries in Rabat in 2001. Agreements provide for development of trade relations between two countries by way assignment to them the status of most favored nation in spheres of tax and custom, exchange of business delegations and signing of long-term and short-term contracts between trade organizations. They are directed to development of investment sphere of two states, facilitation of incomes translation, which were acquired during realization of investment projects.
There is an agreement between Ukrainian and Moroccan sides about exchange by experience in industrial sphere. Being by agrarian country, the Ukraine feels the shortage of phosphates, which is exporting from Morocco. In its turn, the Morocco wants of grain, which can be bought in Ukraine. A special place in mutual relations of two states occupies the issues of improving of legal base, mutual investments guarantees, contractually-legal legalization in education sphere and personnel training (there are few thousands of Moroccan students in Ukrainian institutes now). To perspective directions of two-sided partnership can be borne away joint projects on elaboration and exploration of mining natural, in energetic sphere, transport and port infrastructure, tourism. Morocco is most interested in putting right of ties with Kiev in transforming of cultural sphere and sporting infrastructure. The diplomatic representatives of Morocco expressed wish to invite the building enterprises of Kiev to participate in creating of contemporary sporting complex within the preparation to World championship on soccer in Rabat in 2010.
The inauguration of Honourable Ukraine consulate under the leadership of influential representative of local business circles of Morocco M.Sharif took place in august 2003 in Moroccan town Tangier . Its consular district will comprehend the North and North-Eastern regions of Kingdom of Morocco. There was also signed an Ukrainian - Moroccan agreement on partnership in sphere of sea fishery. In perspective the partnership between two states may be developed in the sphere of scientific researches, educations, shipbuilding. Interaction of private Ukraine and Morocco economy sectors should be directed by stimulus to create the net of Ukraine-Moroccan joint enterprises.
It is necessary to mark that two states have the same geopolitical characteristics: both of them are situated near the European Union: Ukraine is situated on east border of given regional block, and Morocco - on western one. Ukraine can adopt Moroccan experience in the developing of relations with EU, and also in realization of reforms, which is necessary for harmonious development of relations with European structure (2).
The negative effect on the level of Ukraine-Libyan partnership was stipulated by phenomenon of disintegration after collapse of USSR, introduction of UNO sanctions against Libya. Though, in last years the relations between two states marked by significant progress. The opening of Ukraine embassy in Libya in 2001 became the main component of Ukraine economic strategy for advancement of national commodities on African markets. Some years ago came into force the agreement on trade-economic cooperation between Ukraine and Libya. This agreement provides for the cooperation of both countries in health care sphere, energetic, electrical energetic, rural economy, transport, industry, building. The typical sign of Ukraine-Libyan cooperation in transport sphere became the participation of Ukrainian specialists in tender on building of railway, which must be get through on North Africa. It is necessary to mark that Ukrainian leadership backed the taking down of economic embargo against Libya (3). Nowadays the two-sided militarily-technical cooperation successfully develops in trade and repair of aircraft. During past years some delegations of “Ukrspetzexport" visited Libya. After the analysis of current condition of Libyan armed forces the Ukrainian experts came to conclusion that two-sided militarily-technical collaboration can bring to Ukraine about 500 mln. $ USA annually.
At present the Ukraine can successfully cooperate with Libya in metallurgy and oil-gas sphere, render the assistance to North Africa in the building of infrastructure. In perspective there is a possibility to develop Ukraine-Libyan cooperation in aviation sphere, agricultural deliveries, building. The Libyan side is interested in deliveries of Ukrainian raw materials, metallic alloys, equipment and technique for production began and gland, joint elaboration of Libyan resources of iron-stone, of cities drinking-water. In agrarian domain Ukrainian and Libyan side achieved the agreement on collaboration in agricultural sphere (growing of seeds of vegetable cultures, breeding of cattle). Ukraine plans to export rectified table-water to Libya.
In energetics and oil – gas branches the interests of Libyans are concentrated on petroleum processing, development of petrochemical enterprises, mining and gas, meteorological researches, joint building and attendance on electricity transmissions lines, attracting of Ukrainian specialists and equipment purchase for geological survey. Among Libyans rises interest in using of Ukrainian equipment and technologies of oil and gas industry, petrochemical production, metal and wares, power equipment, equipment for conduits, water-supply, buildings, shipbuilding, timbering, paper production. The cooperation in oil-gas branch is the main issue on bilateral Ukraine-Libyan commission’s meetings. There are permanent representatives of Ukrainian oil company “Ukrnafta" in Libya. Two states already signed the frame agreements on cooperation in oil-gas branch, beginning with mineral exploration and to production realization. At present the Libyan side allotted to Ukraine the special zone for mining exploitation, which the Ukrainian oil- masters began to use.
The Libya, as the centre of African integration, at present wants of modernization of its own airpark. The first Ukrainean airbus „Ruslan”was delivered to Lybia in 2001. The Libyan side already expressed interest to such Ukrainian aircrafts, as passenger airbus АN-140, transport airbus AN-70, АN-74ТК -300. In nearest future would be realized the Ukraine-Libyan project on creation of joint air-transport company with the use of Ukrainian aircraft and Libyan air fields.
The state visit of Ukraine president L. Kuchma in Libya in 2003 marked a qualitatively new stage in relations between two states. In particular, the nine agreements in different economy and science domains were signed. The reciprocal visit of Libyan delegation to Ukraine at the head of Libyan premier Sh.Ghanem took place in April 2004. During this visit the previous agreements were confirmed and two agreement on custom-house issues and tourism were signed. The agreement on avoiding of double taxation was initialed. The two sides clearly arranged to walk across from protocols of intentions to concrete acts in spheres of oil, transport and aircraft. Agreements in agricultural sphere will allow Libyans to put in the investments in Ukrainian agrarian sector, and instead of to be accorded corn cultures, in particular, wheat. The agreement was also reached in relation to job placement of Ukrainian citizens in Libya. Taking into consideration this, in Libya works mainly Ukrainian medical personnel, and its amount will be increased from 3 to 8 thousands.
According to the first vice-president of the Association of friendship “Ukraine-Libya" O.Dubish, Libya can be the ‘engine’ in advancement of Ukraine economic interests on African continent. Previously, taking into account the economical sanctions on Libya, the potential of two-sided cooperation have been used insufficiently (thus, in 2000 r the trade exchange between two countries made up 1,4 mln $. USA), but in consequent years he grew more than in 30 times.
The trade-economic cooperation between Ukraine and Algeria is also in progress. Algeria shows the interest to cooperation with Ukraine in machine-building, energetic and transport, water economy, geological survey works, education, science and technique, capital building, repair of aircraft engineering. Among cooperation perspectives - participation of two states in personnel training national, in medical sphere, tourism. Algerian side shows the interest in modernization of enterprises of metallurgical branch, technical provision of dams and other water buildings. Algeria imports metallurgical production from Ukraine in big volume (4). Nowadays, the cooperation between Ukraine and Algeria stirs up in militarily-technical sphere. Thus, about 80% Ukrainian export in Algeria consists of production and services of military and special nature. At present, the Algerian army equipped on 90% by soviet military technique, which requires for systematic repair and upgrading. Among perspective cooperation projects between two states - the personnel training for Algeria militaries in Ukraine.
It should be mentioned, that today’s part of Algerian export in Ukraine is still very small. Whereas the problems, that impedes to trade activization of two countries are gradually solving. Thus, in December 2002 Ukraine and Algeria signs the convention on avoiding of double taxation. The representative office of Ukrainian company on heavy lorries “Auto-CrAZ” was opened in Algeria in 2003. The company “Naftogaz of Ukraine” sent to Algerian company “SONATRACK” the tender proposals for participation in 4-th round of international tender on assignment the license on exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in Algeria.
It is worth to mention some other aspects of relations between two states. Thus, the Ukraine President L.Kuchma in May 2003 committed to the Ministry of Foreign affairs and to the Ministry on extraordinary situations of Ukraine to take urgent measures for rendering necessary help for more than thousand of Algerian citizens, which were the victims from earthquake consequences. During realization of such measures the Ukraine government assigned 40 tons of humanitarian help and 188 000 $ USA to Algerian side.
The Ukraine-Tunisia trade relations on this moment have not attained sufficient development, mainly, because of traditionally developed ties of Tunisia with the states of Western Europe: France, Italy, Germany and Spain. In spite of attempts to diversify the foreign trade lines from the Tunisia’s leadership side, about two thirds of imports and three fourth of exports are related to the EU countries. Besides this, the big role plays the export policy of states-competitors of Tunis on trade by traditional product - by olives. Thus, thanks to subsidizing of its governments, the Greek and Turkish producers succeeded well in reducing prices on fruits and vegetables, that makes Tunisian agricultural goods uncompetitive on Ukrainian market.
That which Tunis from the point of view of investment risk goes into the first fiver among states of Arabic world, makes this state very attractive for building there objects of tourist and medical infrastructure with the assisting of Ukrainian specialists. Tunis is interested in attracting of technologies for work organization of industrial sector, oriented on export in such branches, as machine-building, instrument-making, electronics, chemistry. The rise of demand on equipment in country on boring of aquatic mining holes, the wares of domestic setting, medical engineering, completing sets for electronic industry and pharmacological enterprises is instrumental in development cooperation with Ukrainian enterprises, which are ready to render assistance in deliveries of necessary production. An Ukrainian side, in its turn, also can increase export from Tunis of perfumer-cosmetic commodities, wares of light industry, and sea products.
It is importantly to mark, that Russia does not put together to special competition to Ukraine on North African markets. Foremost, it is explained by the structure of Russian export, which is noticeably differs from the structure of Ukrainian one. Thus, the Russian export in North African region are mainly represented by the petrochemical, building materials, wares of woodworking industry. In its turn, the base of Ukrainian export put together rolling, agricultural production, wares of electronic industry.
The most advanced region countries, for instance Egypt, which possesses by considerable economic potential, represents the market with good prospects for contemporary Ukrainian technologies and various services. to make more active The development of partnership ties between the representatives of small and middle business can promote the trade-economic interaction between the Ukrainian and North African subjects of owner's activity. In its turn, the measures on authority liberalization of currency and exported-imported operations, preferential crediting and to opening of trade representative offices abroad would assist to expand such ties. The participation of Ukrainian and African firms in joint fairs, business-seminars, exhibitions, international tenders could also contribute to this.
The definite stimulus for development of cooperation between Ukraine and countries of North Africa would be the realization of various trans-African projects. Thus, the Ukrainian side has a possibility to participate in building of Egyptian- Libyan pipeline, which must transport petroleum and gas; of road highways, railways and electricity transmissions lines, which bind up the countries of North Africa (in particular, railway between cities Tobrouk (Libya) and As-Saloom (Egypt)). The swift growth temps of building of new power powers in Arabic states of Africa could also indirectly assist to cooperation in power sphere. The paramount importance should be devoted to the putting right of cooperation process between the separate Ukraine regions and countries of North African region.
One can suppose, that in nearest perspective the development of Ukraine partner ties and region states would be included in the priorities of contemporary external economic strategy of North African countries, among which: encouragement of foreign investments in export branches, science- types of production; spheres, which provide the employment for growing labor force. As supplementary impulse to two-sided cooperation would be served the increasing interest of business circles of developed countries to dilative markets of North Africa. The informal two-sided structures also can play the significant role in the development of trade-economic cooperation.
It is useful to use the North African countries interaction experience with “Organization of black sea economic collaboration", in which Egypt and Tunis have the observer status. The stability of Black Sea basin states, and Ukraine in that number, directly depends on level of transport infrastructure and communication networks, on external energy sources. Thus, the co-ordination of actions with the Mediterranean states allows solve the nascent questions in good time and with complex approach.
As mentioned above, Ukraine and countries of North Africa draws together aspiring to put right a narrow and mutually beneficial collaboration with European Union. In may 2004 The European commission (executive branch of EU) promulgated the strategic document, which provides for possibility of effective European Union expansion during some decades on all of Mediterranean Moslem countries from Morocco to Syria, and also on all of former republics of Soviet Union on European continent. According to the “New neighbourliness” politics, such countries as Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Ukraine and Russia would become the full-right members of the unified market space, with open borders for trade and investments, and their citizens will be awarded with the full right to live and to work in EU. Such politics got the principled approval of all governments of EU countries-participants. According to European diplomats, Egypt, Jordan, Marocco and Ukraine with taking into consideration the dynamics of development of domestic policy processes, most fully conform to western democracy criterions (5).
1 Зубаренко І. Україно-єгипетські стосунки: деякі підсумки і перспективи розвитку/Матеріали конференції “Україна-країни Близького Сходу: від діалогу педагогичних систем to діалогу цивілізацій", Випуск 3.- Київ, 2002. Сc.48-54.
2 Кіевскій ТелеграфЪ. № 39, 27.10 is 2.11.2003.
3 Al-Fajr Al-Jadeed, № 84, october 2003.
4 - Кіевскій ТелеграфЪ. № 7, 3-9.03.2003.
5 http://www.tdg.com.ua, 5.05.2004.
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