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Vashadze entranced by his own foolishness2010-09-30 17:04
Senegal and Nigeria call Georgia for assistance in energy and infrastructure spheres, Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze stated in the aftermath of the meetings he had in New York on his trip to UN General Assembly. Tbilisi looks to yield considerable economic and political dividends from the requests the African states have made. GeorgiaTimes correspondent has tried to investigate.
"A lot of countries like Senegal and Nigeria for instance need expert assistance in infrastructure and energy spheres they call Georgia for. Our higher educational institutions are in high demand. All this can make Georgia's relations with African, Asian and South American countries not purely political but based on a solid economic ground", - Georgia's minister for foreign affairs said.
However, what can the Georgian side propose to its "younger" African brothers? Nigeria, for instance. This state in Western Africa with 150 million population is the world's eighth-biggest oil exporter. Naturally, the government wants implementation of big energy projects in which Sakartvelo specialists may be of unvalued help. They are real experts: see Baku-Tbilisi-Jeikhan main pipeline commission for instance. There is South Caucasian pipeline put into service in March 2007 as well as Baku-Supsa launched in 1999...
Grigol Vashadze must have thought that the Nigerian national oil company will be greatly interested in the expertise of Georgian oilmen.
Still, in a fit of euphoria that can be understood the minister seems to have forgotten to take a closer look at Africa's economic map. Otherwise he would have seen that oil explored in the Niger delta does not need Georgian pipelines. It is taken to the world market in tankers. Besides, Georgian oil experts - that simply don't exist - have nothing to do with those pipelines either: US/French alliance Spie Capag/Petrofac was in charge of construction. Certainly, Georgia owns tankers - 9 ships overall - but they are not enough to influence the world's tanker shipments.
Hm, what a mishap, Grigol Vashadze might have thought if he had looked at the geographic atlas on time.
But maybe services of Georgian "specialists" will be demanded elsewhere? This is what the Georgian minister meant announcing future cooperation with Nigerians, right?