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LLOYDS TSB PAYS £230M IN US FAKED RECORDS CASE (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 12, 2009

Sunday 11 January 2009

by Richard Wachman – The Observer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FRAUD, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, IRAN, LYBIA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SUDAN, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

LIBYAN LEADER ARRIVES IN GUINEA FOR TALKS – MOAMER GATHAFI ARRIVES IN GUINEA FROM NEIGHBOURING SIERRA LEONE FOR TALKS WITH COUNTRY’S LEADERS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

2009-01-03

The Middle East Online

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

Posted in AFRICA, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, GUINEA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LYBIA, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

CONSELHO DE SEGURANÇA DA ONU DISCORDA SOBRE TRÉGUA EM GAZA – ESBOÇO DE RESOLUÇÃO PROPOSTO PELA LÍBIA NÃO FOI ACEITO (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 – 08h15min

A Notícia

PUBLISHED BY ‘A NOTÍCIA’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘A NOTÍCIA’ (Brazil)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, LYBIA, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

LIBYA DEMANDS SWISS AUTHORITIES TO PUNISH THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR VIOLATING RIGHTS OF LIBYAN DIPLOMATS – PAY COMPENSATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 01:35:00

The Tripoli Post

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, LYBIA, RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN) | Leave a Comment »

LIBYA ORDERS OIL COMPANIES TO CUT PRODUCTION BY 270,000 BPD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 01:20:00

WAM/TF

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LYBIA, PETROL, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PIRAEUS BANK BEGINS MONEYGRAM MONEY TRANSFER SERVICE IN EGYPT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 01:25:00

WAM/TF

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAMIC BANKS, LYBIA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

GULF MINISTERS AGREE ON MONETARY UNION (Lybia)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 01:22:00

WAM/TF

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAMIC BANKS, LYBIA, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

OPEC CHIEFS HERALD MAJOR OUTPUT CUT TO REBUILD PRICES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

by Agence France Presse (AFP)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRAN, LYBIA, OPEC, PETROL, RECESSION, RUSSIA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

INDONESIA’S PERTAMINA EYES VERENEX LIBYA OIL FIND

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

11/12/2008 15:33:00

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’ (Lybia)

Indonesia’s state oil firm, Pertamina, would like to participate in the Libyan oil area of Canadian energy company Verenex , a senior company executive said on Monday.

Pertamina has said it wants to expand its upstream activities and to participate in several potential oil and gas projects both at home and abroad to boost its reserves.

“We are interested in buying a stake in Verenex area 47 in Libya. We plan to see the data of the area,” Karen Agustiawan, Pertamina’s upstream director, told Reuters by telephone.

Verenex and partner PT Medco Energi Internasional have a 13.7 percent interest in a production sharing agreement with Libya’s National Oil Corporation, which holds the remaining share.

In October, Verenex made a new oil discovery in Libya in wildcat exploration well C1-47/02a, 180 km southwest of the capital Tripoli, NOC said in a statement on its website.

The flow was through a choke size of 32/64ths of an inch, with oil flowing at 1,739 barrels per day from a depth of 8,312 feet.

Pertamina already has two areas in Libya, 17 and 123 in Sirte, which are still at the exploration stage.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’ (Lybia)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CANADA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDONESIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LYBIA, PETROL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

BEIRUT BOURSE TRACKS LOSSES ABROAD (Lebanon)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

BlomInvest, with The Daily Star

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

BEIRUT: With the deepening world recession, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) continued to mimic the performance regional Arab stock exchanges that on average have fallen around 43 percent from the start of the year.

On a weekly basis, total volume of trades increased 48 percent to 1.29 million shares as investors rushed to liquidate their portfolios. But the corresponding value decreased 33 percent to $10.29 million on declining share prices that sank the BLOM Stock Index to a 52-week low of 1,183 with a year-to-date drop of 21 percent.

Of the 26 listed stocks on the Beirut Stock Exchange, 11 stocks exchanged hands this past week, of which 2 went up and 9 decreased. Solidere stocks represented 64.9 percent of the total value traded.

The banking sector accounted for the remaining 35.1 percent. In the banking sector, BLOM GDR dropped this week by 2.08 percent to $68.4 after trading 7,830 shares at $533,187. Audi Bank’s GDR stock went down by 3.65 percent to close at $54.1 following trades of 9,460 shares with a value of $518,676. Byblos Bank’s common stock increased slightly this week by 0.61 percent to $1.65 recording a volume of 566,400 shares valued at $939,953. On the other hand, its preferred stock class 2008 dropped by 2 percent to $97.9. Solidere stocks remained vulnerable this week as its A shares dipped 4.58 percent to close at $16.66, Solidere B also dropped 2.65 percent to $16.87.

As described last week, the overall situation on the Beirut Stock Exchange remains volatile and vulnerable to the ongoing financial crisis.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in ALGERIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC BANKS, LEBANON, LYBIA, MIDDLE EAST, MOROCCO, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ARAB ECONOMIES TO GROW DESPITE SETBACKS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 2, 2008

December 1, 2008 at 9:10 AM EST

OXFORD ANALYTICA – Exclusive – PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE AND MAIL’ (Canada)

SUBJECT: The impact of the world economic downturn on Arab economies.

SIGNIFICANCE: In contrast to the severity of the downturn in other parts of the world, the Arab world appears likely to experience relatively moderate losses. However, certain countries may be particularly vulnerable.

ANALYSIS: The IMF’s latest downward revisions of growth rate projections for 2009 place Arab countries in third place at 5.3 per cent after China and India at 8.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively, although World Bank figures are somewhat less optimistic. Positive growth prospects reflect two key factors:

Macroeconomic fundamentals are positive, in particular the prospects for sustained investment growth, which will be driven by accumulated oil revenues and continuing oil incomes.

Regional capital markets, which have been hit by the crisis, are among the smallest and least significant in emerging markets.

Investment. Buoyant investment activity is now and will continue to be supported by oil income and wealth: The current account surplus of oil economies is expected to double to some $132-billion (U.S.) in 2008 against $77-billion in 2007.

Arab sovereign wealth funds possess at least $1.53-trillion in assets, with considerably more in reserves and accumulated private wealth.

Despite the slashing of oil revenues due to the present fall in oil prices, accumulated assets are likely to make up the difference from a regional standpoint – although particular countries may suffer.

Intra-Arab foreign direct investment has been rising steadily, from $8.8-billion between 1985-1995, to nearly $17-billion between 1995-2002, to $77-billion between 2002-07, with $14-billion in 2007 alone: FDI accounts for 12 per cent of regional capital formation compared to 7.8 per cent in developing countries as a whole.

GCC investors are now investing around 25 per cent of their oil wealth in the region compared to 15 per cent in 2003.

In oil, gas and energy, $520-billion worth of projects are planned for 2009-2013, down from a projected $650-billion before the crisis; even if only $400-billion worth are financed, $8-billion to $10-billion a month of investment will take place.

The crisis in Europe and the United States will strengthen the need for geographic diversification, and will confirm intra-Arab investments as a key category in Arab portfolios.

Investors will likely diversify away from real estate and tourism into other sectors such as food, transport, and medical diagnostics.

There have been official promises to maintain intra-Arab capital and investment flows, although the use of resources in domestic bailouts may limit the fulfilment of such commitments.

Market losses. The four largest markets – Dubai, Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia – have lost up to half of their value, mirroring heavy losses elsewhere. Another four markets – Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman – registered relatively moderate losses of 20-40 per cent. All had fallen from historical highs in summer, 2008.

There are a number of channels of contagion from global financial markets:

Exits by non-Arab investors have most seriously affected the more open Arab stock markets, namely those of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Exposure to the US prime and sub-prime markets has affected players in Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.

A more significant channel is heightened fear and uncertainty about the unfolding global recession; the region’s markets, whose trends have been dominated by excitement and herd behaviour, joined the global panic.

Negative sentiment overwhelmed the effects of positive fundamentals, including the strong results of many listed corporations for the first half of 2008.

Mitigated impact. Yet there are good reasons to believe that the falls in Arab markets will be less enduring, and have less negative broader impact, than in markets elsewhere:

The fall in OECD financial markets is the most severe in decades; in contrast, wild swings in the region are common.

Arab stock markets are highly volatile, narrow and illiquid; only a small proportion of total capitalization is traded.

The dominance of financial institutions in market indices made their fall in the present crisis inevitable; financials constitute 56 per cent of the S&P’s Pan Arab index, compared to 16 per cent in the Latin America index and 36 per cent for Africa.

Remarkably, the four smallest markets – Beirut, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunis – retained gains, indicating that intra-Arab investments have constituted a successful portfolio diversification strategy.

Arab markets are still constructing operational and regulatory structures. Gaping holes remain in corporate governance rules and practices, and the culture of retail investors is still underdeveloped. In 2007-2008 a series of investigations targeted insider dealings and share manipulation. Fines were handed to listed firms, brokers, and investment companies in Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. However, the relative unsophistication of markets and their lesser significance in the broader economies has shielded Arab countries from the worst effects of the financial crisis.

Slowdown. The downside risks are not to be underestimated in a deep and complex world crisis: Oil revenues will be dented by declining world demand, forcing oil-rich countries to engage in belt-tightening and possibly threatening FDI flows to other Arab countries.

The cost of finance, in terms of spreads, has already risen to all-time highs, and all types of capital raised are below 2007 levels.

Falls in exports will cause losses across the region; many once-booming industries such as petrochemicals and fertilizers are now faced with sliding markets.

Falls in tourism will hit players such as Morocco, Egypt, and Dubai; falls in remittances will hit North African countries.

Dubai’s fall is likely to be the sharpest, linked as it is to the bursting of an enormous real estate bubble; mortgage lending had quintupled in the last five years, and government debt is high at around $70-billion.

Egypt, which is poor and heavily indebted, is likely to be hit hard by declines in the stock market, oil and gas income, and Suez revenues; even a moderate downturn is likely to feed growing public discontent.

CONCLUSION: Losses on Arab stock markets have wiped out abnormally high returns, but not the prospects of solid positive returns. The region is finally drawing on what has long underpinned East Asian and European growth: domestic and intra-regional investment. Supported by ample reserves and SWF resources, this strength should help the region to weather a world recession. Growth prospects are therefore dented, but remain positive.

From the Oxford Analytica Daily Brief

Copyright 2008 – Oxford Analytica Ltd. All rights reserved.

Founded in 1975, Oxford Analytica’s 1,000+ analysts provide international organizations with monitoring, research and consultancy services that explore the strategic implications of policy, economic, financial, industry, trade and security developments around the world.

www.oxan.com

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE AND MAIL’ (Canada)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EGYPT, ENERGY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, IMF, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAMIC BANKS, ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK, LYBIA, MACROECONOMY, MOROCCO, NATURAL GAS, OPEC, PETROL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

OPINION: KEEPING GOOD COMPANY (Libya)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 17, 2008

15/11/2008 14:37:00

by Zainab Al-Arabi

The bad news is that although certain events in a country might make people depressed because they KEEP GOOD COMPANYhave no control over them in the Third World, of which we are a part, the good news is that this doesn’t just occur in Third World countries who are always lectured at by First World countries about their economy, society, health, food, religion, etc. If anything the past couple of years have shown us that we are in good company.

Thanks to the oh-so-free press in the West – which is increasingly becoming more of a voice for certain corporations- we learnt belatedly of secret prisons in Europe, Pakistan, and Afghanistan where innocent Muslims were kept and tortured. We were informed –better late than never- of the complicity of human-rights-respecting Western governments in these dastardly events.

In Third World countries these wouldn’t have been so secret; everyone would know because of the idle time citizens have on their hands spent in fruitless conversation. And having relatives and neighbours in secret security services (again in Third World countries) helps to keep information flowing – who needs newspapers? A proud mother will tell her entire neighbourhood that her son is in ‘security’, and he can be observed sometimes showing his ‘secret’ I.D. at the bank to people so he can jump the queue.

Mismanagement of government files and losing classified information? Yes that too is presented as evidence of Third World incompetence, but should we complain about this accusation when a leading First World country has shown us that this is an everyday occurrence? I mean if British ministers and state officials leave classified information on bus seats and in car parks, then where is the problem?

Worse than that, they have also lost 20,000 cows. Present on computers, but nowhere to be found in real life, a BBC report states that the persons in charge are completely baffled by this problem. Well at least we know what happens to our cows: they die of neglect.

Over 200 head of cattle died in the Taourgha Project this year in between a change of management phase, according to television reports.

To be fair to the British, they’re seriously thinking of changing the government. In Third World countries, people aren’t so cruel. Give the poor guys another chance, we say. We still believe in that age old slogan of one for all and all for one.

Economic progress and free markets have forever been touted as signs and signals that the First World is truly a democratic dream that the Third World is unable to conceive. But the present global financial nightmare that has left many Americans homeless and/or bankrupt is also a by-product of the Bush freedom-loving-era.

Allowing giant banks and giant companies to accept ‘bail-outs’ in hundreds, I mean “hundreds”, of billions of dollars without any legal repercussions or punishment, and without allowing citizens to seek legal redress, sounds, not just like the Third World to me, but worse.

Where else is thievery and crime rewarded by governments? Everywhere in the world it now seems. We shouldn’t feel too bad about ourselves, being Third World citizens. We have plenty of company.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’ (Libya)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CATTLE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LYBIA, USA | Leave a Comment »

LIBYA, EU LAUNCH LANDMARK NEGOTIATIONS – Elobeidi: Tripoli will Contribute to a Partnership as Much as EU can be Useful to Libya – Negotiations started in Brussels on Thursday on the EU-Libya Framework Agreement

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

15/11/2008 – 15:34:00

LIBYA, EU LAUNCH LANDMARK NEGOTIATIONS – Elobeidi: Tripoli will Contribute to a Partnership as Photo - EU Commissioner for External Relations Benito Ferrero-Waldner, right, addresses the media together with Libya's Secretary for European Affairs Abdulati Elobeidi at the EU Commission in Brussels, Thursday Nov. 13, 2008. Ferrero-Waldner launched negotiations for a Framework Agreement between the EU and Libya to strengthen the political, economic, commercial, social and cultural relations between both parties.(AP Photo)Much as EU can be Useful to Libya – Negotiations started in Brussels on Thursday on the EU-Libya Framework Agreement

European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, joined by the EU Presidency, formally launch the negotiations in a meeting with the Libyan representatives led by Abdulati Elobeidi, Secretary for European Affairs, and Mohamed Tahar Siala, Deputy Secretary at the General People Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation of Libya.

The future agreement will establish the framework of the relations between the EU and Libya.

Mr. Elobeidi, said Libya would “contribute definitely to an efficient partnership with the EU, as much as the EU on its side can be useful for Libya.

“We are very pleased with this beginning and we are very much aspiring to the future,” he added.

The accord will cover political, social, economic, commercial and cultural relations, between the European bloc and Libya.

“This was a long awaited moment since the 2004 EU’s decision to lift the sanctions against Libya and to start a policy of engagement with this country. I am pleased that we can finally launch these negotiations,” Ms Ferrero-Waldner said.

The future agreement, if concluded in line with the level of ambition currently stated by the parties, will have a high potential for the development of deep cooperation, opening the way to a strong political partnership and to the increase in trade and investments between Libya and the EU.

“Libya is the last south-Mediterranean country with which the EU has no contractual relations and we are keen to establish a clear, long-lasting legal framework in order to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Libya. The Commission has received from the Council a broad negotiation mandate that proves the EU’s aims at concluding with Libya an agreement as ambitious as Libya is prepared to consent, covering areas such as political dialogue, trade, energy, migrations and environment,” Ferrero-Waldner said.

The Commission’s negotiations mandate was adopted on July 24, 2008 by the Council. The objective is to conclude a broad agreement providing for political dialogue and cooperation on foreign policy and security issues, for a free trade area which is as deep and comprehensive as possible, for cooperation in key areas of common concern such as energy, transport, migration, visa, justice and home affairs, environment and other topics like maritime policy and fisheries, education and public health.

At present, Libya benefits from an EC medical and technical cooperation program in the area of HIV/AIDS for a total allocated amount of €8 million, as part of the EU Action Plan for Benghazi.

In the field of migration the EU and Libya are already cooperating since 2004. Two projects have already been financed under the thematic program “Migration and Asylum” one concerning the control of the borders with Niger and one on assistance to voluntary return of migrants, while a third project should start in early 2009.

The EU statement also said fundamental principles underpinning the agreement would be respect for human rights and democracy, the non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and commitment to the rules of the market economy.

(agencies)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’ (Lybia)

Posted in COMMERCE, ECONOMY, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LYBIA, MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

OPEC REDUX: RESPONDING TO THE RUSSIAN-IRANIAN GAS CARTEL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

Ariel Cohen (Middle East Times) by Ariel Cohen (Middle East Times) (*)

MOSCOW – Steadily and stealthily, a natural gas cartel has emerged over the last seven years. On Ariel Cohen, the usually obnoxious 'scarecrow' with a PhD ...Oct. 21 in Tehran, the Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF) agreed to form a troika which will direct the future cartel. Russia, Iran, and Qatar announced they will form a yet-unnamed group “to coordinate gas policy.” The troika will meet to coordinate and control close to two-thirds of the world’s gas reserves and a quarter of its gas production.

Russia prefers to coordinate energy policies with Tehran, recognizing that together they control roughly 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves and about half of global gas reserves, offering tremendous geo-economic power.

The United States should create an international coalition of energy consumers to oppose energy cartels. The U.S. Congress should also allow energy exploration in the Arctic, the Rocky Mountains, and along the continental shelves and expand cooperative gas ties with Canada.

Russia’s Global Gas Strategy

In the tight global energy market, Russia clearly appreciates the bargaining power that its energy resources provide, as it attempts to control energy exports from the New Independent States, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Russia also has strengthened its ties to Iran, Venezuela, Libya, and other energy exporters. Recently, Moscow also launched a “charm offensive” on OPEC.

Russia is playing a sophisticated game to maximize its advantage as the leading gas producer with the largest reserves on the planet as well as the second largest oil exporter.

Russia’s approach was gradualist. Moscow had never openly shown enthusiasm about a gas cartel but waited for an opportunity to launch one. Yet, the cartel reportedly was a brainchild of the Russian prime minister and former president, Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s approach was also stealthy. Instead of announcing the cartel prematurely and spooking consumer countries, it quietly put the component parts into place. Until the Tehran declaration, Russia was able to appear reasonable.

At the Doha meeting in April, members of the GECF agreed to discuss dividing the consumer markets between them, particularly in Europe. Russia and Algeria are already major players there, and Iran may join them in the next decade. This will clearly challenge the European Union’s energy liberalization and gas deregulation policy, which took effect on July 1.

Geopolitical Clout

The troika and GECF members are planning to “reach strategic understandings” on export volumes, schedules of deliveries, and the construction of new pipelines. They plan to explore and develop gas fields and coordinate startups and production schedules. Despite protestations to the contrary, the GECF has all the trappings of a nascent cartel, and the troika includes its founding members. These founders will expand cooperation beyond their relationship through the GECF and drag other gas producers with them.

The new group will provide its three leaders with greater geopolitical advantage. If this new cartel expands, Russia and Iran will gain clout over Eurasian gas suppliers, such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Major gas producers such as Iran, Russia, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Brunei, and Venezuela have one feature in common: a democracy deficit. All three members of the new cartel share this dubious quality. Just like OPEC, the gas cartel will be a force that can be used to challenge and possibly weaken market–based democracies through energy prices and wealth transfer. Such a cartel may cut deals with undemocratic large-scale consumers, such as China, while forcing the West to pay full price.

Coordinated Global Action Needed

The U.S. George W. Bush administration barely reacted to the Tehran and Doha meetings. Officials express concern, but only in private. The European Commission merely stated that it opposed price-fixing cartels in principle.

As the case of OPEC demonstrates, closing markets to competition, promoting national oil companies, and limiting production results in limited supply and higher oil prices. Gas will not be different.

What the U.S. Can Do

The United States should open its vast natural gas resources onshore and offshore to further exploration and production and encourage its neighbors in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean to do the same.

The next administration should work with the European Union, Japan, China, India, and other countries to prevent the cartelization of the gas sector. This can be accomplished through cooperation with the International Energy Agency, which China and India should be invited to join, and by applying anti-trust legislation worldwide against state-owned companies that are actively involved in cartel-like behavior in energy markets.

Finally, the United States should work closely with those within GECF who oppose Russian-Iranian domination, including Azerbaijan, Canada, the Netherlands, and Norway. The National Security Council and the National Economic Council should take the lead in developing this policy. Unless buyer solidarity is translated into action, energy consumers and economic growth will suffer worldwide.

(*) – Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is senior research fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST TIMES’ (Egypt)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, LYBIA, NATURAL GAS, OPEC, PETROL, QATAR, RUSSIA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, VENEZUELA | Leave a Comment »

GADHAFI VISITS MOSCOW TODAY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 31, 2008

GADHAFI VISITS MOSCOW TODAY

date: 31 10, 2008

MOSCOW, OCT 31 (BNA) THE LIBYAN LEADER MOAMMAR GADHAFI IS SET TO ARRIVE IN RUSSIA FOR Mu'ammer Muhammad al QaddafiTALKS EXPECTED TO FOCUS ON BOOSTING ENERGY TIES AND THE ARMS TRADE BETWEEN THE TWO COLD WAR ALLIES REVEALED AP TODAY.

THE KREMLIN SAYS GADHAFI WILL ARRIVE ON A THREE-DAY VISIT TODAY.

RUSSIA HAS MOVED EARLIER THIS YEAR TO BOLSTER RELATIONS WITH LIBYA, AGREEING TO WRITE OFF 4.5 BILLION IN LIBYA’S DEBT FOR SOVIET-ERA ARMS SUPPLIES IN EXCHANGE FOR LUCRATIVE BUSINESS DEALS.

VLADIMIR PUTIN VISITED LIBYA IN APRIL WHEN HE WAS STILL RUSSIAS PRESIDENT.

PUTIN, NOW PRIME MINISTER, PRESIDED OVER THE SIGNING OF A 2.2 BILLION EURO CONTRACT FOR STATE-OWNED RUSSIAN RAILWAYS IN LIBYA.

RUSSIAS STATE GAS MONOPOLY GAZPROM HAS ALSO STRUCK A DEAL TO DEVELOP SIX OIL AND GAS FIELDS IN LIBYA.

HS/ 31-OCT-2008 12:26

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