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During the Cabinet meeting on Oct. 30, 2013, a decision was made to deepen the Ukrainian-Libyan high level political dialogue. Following the change of power due to Arab Spring in 2011, which led to overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s political regime, several positive trends have been noted in modern trade-economic cooperation between Ukraine and Libya, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
In order to renew and deepen the economic cooperation and export potential of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to resume the Ukrainian-Libyan Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.
According to government analysts, intensive and fruitful cooperation of the two countries in military field is based on technical upgrade and maintenance of Soviet military equipment. After all, Libya's economy was largely directed towards the Soviet technology; 80% of Libya's weapons were Soviet made, and training of civil and military experts took place in the Soviet Union, and in Ukraine.
Weapons of Libyan army include 2,210 tanks, 2,620 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 130 warships, and 469 aircrafts mostly, of Soviet origin.
This indicates that Libya is the optimal economic partner for our country, note the analysts, in assessing the prospects of economic cooperation with the Arab East, which accounts for 20% of Ukrainian arms exports (almost as much as to CIS countries).
At the same time, revolutions and geopolitical instability in the Middle East made certain adjustments to plans of Ukrainian military-industrial complex.
Experts say Arab Spring revolutions resulted in losses for Ukraine's defense industry. Future revolutionary instability in the Middle East promises new contracts to Ukrainian producers and export opportunities for military-industrial complex.
It is necessary military circles in Arab countries initiated the procurement of certain weapons and equipment. Unlike deposed Arab politicians, military circles maintain influence in the defence industry. It means that old contracts will be implemented and our manufacturers might have new orders on the most promising arms market of the world. According to UN experts, arms exports to the Middle East are estimated as 107.084 billion USD by 2016.
By 2016, in terms of forecasted arms exports to the Middle East, the first place is occupied by the USA with trade volume of 69.877 billion USD (65.25% of the total defense exports to the region). In case of efficient trade and export policy, Ukraine will be able to provide the region with weapons for over 1 billion USD by 2016, thus ranking tenth among the arms exporters.
At the same time, in 2013, the State Concern Ukroboronprom is planning to export the military and special products and services for 1.33 billion USD, which is up 29.88% year-on-year. It may let Ukraine join the top five exporters of military and special equipment.