KUALA LUMPUR: Libya wants to revive its economy and put it back in order after experiencing a civil war two years ago.
Its Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Abubaker Al-Mansouri, said the country was keen on collaborating with Malaysia in various sectors.
“The Libyan government looks at Malaysia as a ‘model’, not only politically but also economically, a country from which it can learn to expand its economy,” he said.
He said this at a seminar on ‘Doing Business in Algeria and Libya’ organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) last week.
Abubaker said he would like to see more Malaysian companies invest in Libya, especially in the oil and gas sector.
“Currently, there are six Malaysian oil and gas (O&G) companies in Libya.
“The number is insufficient when compared to the number of O&G companies from Italy, US and Germany. Now, China is coming in again,” he said.
The ambassador said investments in the O&G sector were significant last year and he hoped more Malaysian companies would take the opportunity to invest in it.
“This is an opportunity for you to assist Libya,” he said, adding that many countries from Southeast Asia such as South Korea and China were coming to Libya in droves to invest in the country.
He said the Malaysia-Libya Interoperability Initiative was set up in January last year to assist various sectors such as information technology, health, education, agriculture, industrial, tourism and training and administration.
On complaints by the Malaysians that Libya was too far for them to do business in and that they preferred neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, he said, “In business, distance is not the idea. Business can be next door or far away.”
“If we think about distance, Americans will not be able to invest in Southeast Asia, and South Korea and China will not be able to invest in North or South Africa, or Latin America,” he said.
Abubaker said although not many people travelled to Libya at the moment, he would like people to know that “the road is now open for business”.
“Now, Libya has become a new country. We are opening our doors to businesses from all countries. We welcome more Malaysian businessmen to participate as there are already many investors from different parts of the world in Libya,” he said.
Libya has a population of about six million and is regarded as an important location in terms of trade in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Its neighbours include Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Egypt.
Libya’s exports to Malaysia include oil and gas, while imports include palm oil, rubber, electronics and electrical. — Bernama