wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06TRIPOLI569
2006-10-03 15:36:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tripoli
Cable title:  

SOUTH KOREAN PM VISITS TRIPOLI TO PROMOTE BILATERAL TRADE

Tags:  BEXP BTIO EINT ETRD TINT TRSY OVIP XI XE KS LY 
pdf how-to read a cable
null
Brooke F Adams  10/09/2006 03:14:50 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Brooke F Adams

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
C O N F I D E N T I A L        TRIPOLI 00569

SIPDIS
CXCAIRO:
    ACTION: FCS
    INFO:   MGT IPS ECON DCM AMB

DISSEMINATION: FCS
CHARGE: PROG

VZCZCCRO522
RR RUEHEG
DE RUEHTRO #0569/01 2761536
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 031536Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1300
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0324
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0015
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0443
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0455
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0281
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0307
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0118
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0006
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 0033
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 1471
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000569 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/3/2016
TAGS: BEXP BTIO EINT ETRD TINT TRSY OVIP XI XE KS LY
SUBJECT: SOUTH KOREAN PM VISITS TRIPOLI TO PROMOTE BILATERAL TRADE

REF: SEOUL 3378

CLASSIFIED BY: Elizabeth Fritschle, Pol/Econ Chief, United
States Embassy, DOS.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)



1. (U) South Korean Prime Minister Her Excellency Han
Myeong-sook visited Tripoli the week of September 17-21 in
association with the "Korean Libyan Business Partnership
Conference 2006." The conference was organized by the Korean
International Trade Union and the Libyan General Union of
Chambers of Commerce and Industry. At a lunch hosted by the
conference organizers, PM Han addressed a crowd of 200 Libyan
and Korean businessman, calling for "an acceleration of
bilateral relations through business partnerships." She praised
the Libyan Great Man Made River project as an example of
successful cooperation between the two nations, and called for
greater cooperation with particular emphasis on IT and
communications equipment. She ended by expressing that "current
cooperation confirms the potential for future cooperation," and
that she hoped "future relations would be as smooth as the
Korean cars she saw on the roads of Tripoli."




--------------------------


Content with Current Progress, but Still More Potential


--------------------------






2. (U) According to press accounts, PM Han recounted that she
and Libyan leader Mu'anmar Qadhafi considered the Great Man Made
River (GMMR) project to be the "eighth wonder of the world," and
with continued cooperation she hoped Libya and Korea could
eventually produce the ninth wonder of the world. The Koreans
have a string of work encampments throughout Libya to support
their construction projects and other contracts. Korean
employees are typically supervising engineers who oversee the
work of third country laborers. The Koreans tend to stay in
Libya for six months, then return home for a one month leave
period with their families. Many of these engineers have lived
in Libya for ten years or longer, since their salaries of
approximately double what they could earn at home.




3. (C) PM Han told the press that Korea would invite 1000
North Africans to Korea in the next three years to accelerate
industry and infrastructure cooperation, and stated that Libya
would be included in this program, and a part of any future
North African initiatives. Korean Embassy Counselor for
Political Affairs, Sang Jin Kim told P/E Chief that the Korean
delegation of 121 people included 65 business representatives.
He said that during the visit two agreements and four MOUs were
signed. A training and information technology agreement was
signed by Secretary of the General People's Committee (GPC) for
Manpower, Training and Employment Matouq Matouq and the Korean
Deputy FM. Kim said that the Koreans will send trainers to
educate the Libyans in information technology (in English) after
the Libyans provide a building for the training center. He said
that the Libyans had asked for an agreement on technology
transfer, with an emphasis on water desalination and power
generation, and that the Koreans agreed to form a joint
commission to conduct feasibility studies. (COMMENT: The
Libyan's request tracks with their request made to the French,
German, British and others - they are using the gambit, "show us
the rewards for giving up our WMD" with all their interlocutors.
END COMMENT.) The Libyans broached peaceful uses of nuclear
energy with the Koreans, but at this point there are no plans
for nuclear cooperation.



4. (C) The other agreement was signed by the Under Secretary
of the General People's Committee for Economy, Trade and
Investment, Taher Sarkez, for the promotion, guarantee and
protection of investment. The MOUs focused on construction,
export promotion, communications, and infrastructure
development. Kim said that the Libyans complained that on the
GMMR Project and other activities, the Koreans had imported too
many foreign laborers "building and leaving." He said the
Libyans, in every discussion, asked for more training and
technology transfer. Matouq broached his proposal that in
the future, Korean contractors maintain 50 percent Libyan
laborers on their payrolls, with 50 percent from third countries
like Bangladesh or other Islamic countries. Kim said that over
the last year, Matouq's GPC staffers had presented Korean
contractors with lists of employees "to be hired." He said that
almost none of the proposed employement candidates were
qualified, but that the Koreans hired them and "the people get a
salary but they make no contributions, sometimes they don't even
show up for work." During the bilateral meetings with the PM,
the Koreans told Matouq that they would continue making a good
faith effort to hire Libyans, but that the GPC had to allow time
for Libyans to be trained and educated for specialized work
before insisting on "Libyanization" of the work force.



--------------------------


Grand Plans, Without Any Planning To Support the Concept


--------------------------





5. (C) Kim also described Qadhafi's proposal to the PM that
Koreans invest in a oil pipeline project routed from the
Jamahiriya to Eritrea and Bab al-Medab so that Asian countries
could access energy supplies from the Eastern coast of Africa.
He said Qadhafi had a huge map in his Bab al- Azizia meeting
room and traced off a proposed routing for the PM, but that the
Koreans were totally unprepared to address the concept,
especially since Qadhafi talked in generalities and did not
offer any details, beyond his speculation that the Chinese and
Indians would also offer up funding to build the pipeline.



6. (C) The protocol aspects of the visit were particularly
challenging, according to Kim, who described trip planning with
the Libyans as a "nightmare." He said that the Libyans refused
to confirm any meetings in advance of the PM's arrival and that
they only had a few minutes notice before the bilateral with
Qadhafi. Since the Koreans were transported to their official
meetings in Libyan-provided Protocol Office Mercedes convoy (as
are all visiting delegations), they had no control over the
schedule or motorcade movements. Despite telling their liaison
contacts in advance of the visit that the PM would not visit any
memorial sites, Kim said that at the conclusion of the Qadhafi
bilateral, the PM was escorted to the memorial of the U.S.
bombing on the Bab al-Azizia compound and asked to sign the
guestbook. He said that she would not have agreed if asked to
visit, but presented with the inevitable, she wrote an innocous
statement at the memorial. He said that, reviewing other recent
signatures, it appeared many African leaders had visited the
memorial, as well as delegations from Pakistan and the
Philippines.



7. (C) Embassy Comment: The logistical and protocolary
problems which the Koreans faced are routine in Libya, and have
bedeviled the French, British, Germans and many others. The
Libyans are both unwilling and incapable of scheduling meetings
in advance or performing other protocol functions considered
standard operating procedure elsewhere. The Libyan requests to
the Koreans for assistance with water desalination, power
generation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy track with
requests to the G8 countries and their other interlocutors. End
comment.






BERRY
GOLDRICH