Банкеръ Weekly



Georgi Ivanov, Bulgaria's Trade Representative in New York, to the BANKER weeklyMr. Ivanov, what necessitated the preparation of the so-called priority list under the Oil-for-Food Programme?- The priority list includes only those suppliers that will be providing goods and services, satisfying Iraq's urgent needs. Such a selection is necessary as no money has come into the accounts of the Oil-for-Food Programme since military operations began. USD2BN is currently available in its deposits. The approval of urgent deliveries was made under a complex procedure with the participation of UN representatives, the administration of the coalition in Bagdad, and experts from the Iraqi ministries. The priority list is being made by the Oil-for-Food Programme and approved by the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, more widely known as Committee 661. As a result of the energetic actions of our Trade Representation in New York and Bulgaria's Mission with the UN, all contracts closed by Bulgarian companies in the last few years were included in the list. These are the contracts of Electroimpex, Machinoexport, LB Bulgaricum, and Sila. Shall the terms of the contracts, signed prior the war, be changed?- The contracts should be fulfilled under the trade and financial terms, at which they were closed. The money for them has been ensured, earmarked and blocked in the accounts of the Oil-for-Food Programme. In case the term of the letter of credit for some of the contracts has already elapsed or elapses prior November 21, it shall be automatically lengthened. The four Bulgarian firms should deliver the negotiated goods and equipment or the bulk of them by November 21, 2003, when the programme's mandate will be over. Afterwards, the programme's activities, projects and money in its accounts will be transferred to the coalition's administration. What will be UN's commitments after that?- After the official completion of the Oil-for-Food Programme's mandate, there will be new mechanisms and forms for firms' participation in the humanitarian and reconstruction activities in Iraq. In his report to the Security Council on July 22 the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan proposed the establishment of an UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). An expert panel has been set up within UN's system (editor's note: Bulgaria's Trade Representative in New York Georgi Ivanov also participates in it), whose task is to prepare a donors' conference on Iraq's reconstruction, to be held in October 2003. The general feeling is that the money that will be agreed at that forum should be included in and managed by a special fund under the aegis of the UN. It will be a different structure from the Fund for Iraq's Development, managed by the coalition's administration.

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