VENTURES AFRICA – Libya’s Deputy Prime Minister, Awad Al-Barasi, has called on Italian companies to invest in renewable energy projects in his country.
The reason he moved to call specifically on Italian companies to invest in his country is that Libya was an Italian colony between 1911 and 1947.
So, the two countries have established diplomatic relations since 1947 with Italy opening up an embassy in Tripoli and a general consulate in Benghazi.
Libya has an embassy in Rome and 2 general consulates in Milan and Palermo.
While Libya was considered a pariah state by much of the international community under the rule of the late Muammar Gaddafi, Italy maintained diplomatic relations with Libya and exported a significant quantity of its oil from the country.
Barasi, who was Electricity Minister in the previous administration, was speaking at the opening session of the Italy-Libya Economic Forum in Rome On Thursday morning.
He said Libya had development projects worth more than $100 billion and urged Italian firms to join in them.
“Doing so would help boost the economies of both countries and in the process cut Italian and Libyan unemployment rates,” he said.
Meanwhile, Libya’s oil ministry has reached agreement with the country’s army chief and defence and interior ministries to secure exporting terminals,
According to oil minister, Abdelbari Al-Arusi, this move was driven by several protests that have caused shipping disruptions.
Oil installations have become a focal point of protests in Libya and the administration is still struggling to impose order after the July elections in a divided country still awash with arms and militias
Arusi said that an agreement has been reached with the defence minister, chief of staff and interior minister to secure the oil ports. He added that in order to ensure security, the army has sent a force to the port of Zueitina.
As a result, oil exports from the eastern Zueitina terminal should resume in coming days after the port was closed down because of protests that began last month, he said
“The technicians in Zueitina need two days to empty the pipes from the water flowing in them when the oil stopped pumping, at which time, when the government provides us with the security they have promised us, oil pumping and exports will resume,” he said.
No oil has been shipped out of Zueitina, which normally exports around 60.000 barrels to 70.000 barrels per day, since the start of January due to local protests that began in December.