The economies of Saudi Arabia and Libya are also based on the oil industry. Thus, the oil industry of Saudi Arabia accounts for 45% of the Gross Domestic Product. Saudi Arabia plays a key role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, through which it regulates the international oil prices. Export of crude oil accounts for 95% of export, and 75% of revenues of the country, making it possible to maintain the state welfare. The main buyers are the USA (18.5%), Japan (16.5%), China (10.2%), South Korea (8.6%), and Singapore (4.8%). Imports include industrial machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemical products, automobiles and textiles. Major suppliers are the United States (12.4%), China (10.6%), Japan (7.8%), Germany (7.5%), Italy (4.9%), and South Korea (4.7%) (Aarts and Nonneman 150-51).
In turn, the main export partners of Libya are Italy (37.5%), Germany (11.9%), France (7.3%), Spain (6.8%), the U.S. (6.3%), and Switzerland (4.5%). Imports of Libya consist mainly of industrial products, foodstuffs, vehicles and consumer goods. Major suppliers include Italy (22.2%), China (9.3%), Germany (8.6%), Turkey (6.1%), Tunisia (5.8%), South Korea (4.7%), and the U.S. (4.1%). Libya is attractive not only as a source of hydrocarbons, but also as a promising market for modern weapons (Otman and Karlberg 214).
Despite the huge revenues from oil exports, Saudi Arabia is increasingly lagging behind the developed countries by the standard of living. While at the end of the 1970’s, GDP per capita in Saudi Arabia was $21000 (in the U.S. – $24000), currently it is only $16641 (in the U.S. – $ 47132), but it outruns Libya and Kazakhstan. Saudi Arabia takes 76th place by the Human Development Index (HDI) (Aarts and Nonneman 156). Libya is in the top three of the group of countries with medium level of development. The nominal GDP per capita is $12062 (Otman and Karlberg 184).
Politics: International relations with developed countries
The Republic of Kazakhstan has diplomatic relations with all countries of the UN. The main geopolitical partners of Kazakhstan are Turkic countries, China, Russia, European Union, the U.S. and Middle East countries (Nathan 411).
Kazakhstan is a member of OSCE, CIS, CSTO, and the CAC, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, EurAsEC, SCO, CICA, the organization the Council of Turkic speaking countries, Turkic military council, individual partnership plan with NATO (since 1994), etc. Fruitfully cooperating with NATO within the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), the Kazakhstan government has never expressed interest in joining NATO as a full member (Nathan 415).
In July 2010, the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia came into effect. By some estimates, the creation of the Customs Union will spur economic development and may provide an additional 19% of the GDP of the participating countries by 2015 (Nathan 421).
Successfully cooperating within the CIS, the Kazakh government has always made the emphasis on economic cooperation, while geopolitically Kazakhstan has always tried to be neutral. Conducting multi-vector foreign policy and positioning its army as self-defense forces, Kazakhstan today is virtually the only country in the CIS that managed to avoid sharp conflicts within the country and in foreign policy, which cannot be said about Saudi Arabia and Libya.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy is focused on maintaining the key positions in the Arabian Peninsula, among the Islamic countries and the oil-exporting countries. Diplomacy of Saudi Arabia protects and promotes the interests of Islam throughout the world, and is also often criticized for the funding of Islamic extremists. Thus, Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of the former leader of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. It is also well known that Saudi Arabia was one of three states that recognized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.