By Hadji Fornaji
Tripoli, 14 January:
A British business mission, led the UK prime minister’David Cameron’s top trade envoy, is in Tripoli for . . .[restrict]a three-day visit.
Lord Marland is heading a delegation from the UK’s ‘CEO Taskforce’, a group of top executives from leading companies, including on this occasion, defence, security and aerospace firm BAE Systems and consultants Mott MacDonald among a dozen British firms.
Lord Marland, who is also the chairman of the British Business Ambassador’s network, and his colleagues, are expected to meet the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning and Health as well as senior representatives from the Libyan Investment Authority, Central Bank of Libya and National Oil Corporation.
According to the British embassy in Tripoli, Lord Marland’s delegation will discuss how British expertise in the healthcare, education, oil and gas, civil security and infrastructure sectors can contribute to the Libyan Government’s efforts to rebuild and revitalise the Libyan economy after the revolution and provide effective public services for its people.
Lord Marland has however come with a wider brief than boosting Libyan-UK trade. This year, the British have taken over the rotating annual presidency of the G8 bloc of leading economies. Part of the UK government’s vision for its year of leadership, is to push the Deauville Partnership. Set up by the G8 in May 2011, this initiative has set out a financial and policy framework, by which G8 states can work alongside international financial institutions, to provide technical help and support for Middle East countries in transition, which includes Libya.
As part of the Deauville project, the British government has said that it will hold an conference to boost foreign investment and trade levels. It has also designed programmes to mentor Small and Medium-size enterprises in Libya, focusing on creating jobs for young people and boosting women’s economic participation.
Deauville also has a Capital Markets Initiative which aims to help businesses in Arab Spring countries to raise money, grow and create jobs.
The British also plan to host a London follow-up meeting from last September’s Arab Forum on Asset Recovery in Doha, as part of a G8 effort to push on with identifying and returning stolen assets. [/restrict]