Business


Italy: Northern region looks to expand trade with Libya




Milan, 2 July (AKI) - The northern Italian region of Lombardy is seeking to expand trade with Libya, following a recent visit to Italy by controversial Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Business leaders from the regional capital and financial centre, Milan, intend to expand business links on a visit later this year.

"In October, we will organise a key business visit to Libya, in order to develop new ways to collaborate in the business sector," said Claudio Rotti, deputy president of Milan's special agency of the Chamber of Commerce for International Activities, also known as PROMOS, on Thursday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a conference entitled "Developing economic ties between Libya and Italy-Lombardy."

Data provided by PROMOS said that Lombardy accounted for 20 percent of total bilateral trade between Italy and Libya, worth over 20 billion euros.

"In the light of improving political and commercial links between Libya and Italy, Lombardy, being the engine of the Italian economy....has the task of playing a key role," Rotti said.

Gaddafi visited the Italian capital Rome in June to boost political and economic ties (photo). In a speech to corporate leaders in Rome, he pledged to give greater priority to Italian companies doing business in his country.

Libya has earmarked spending of 11.8 billion euros to attract foreign investment to the North African country.

But Gaddafi - also the current chairman of the 53-state African Union - also warned that any company which took advantage of the Libyan people would be forced to leave his country.

In regard to Italy's energy needs, Libya also said Italy would have preferential treatment.

During Gaddafi's visit, Italy's farmers' association, Coldiretti, reported that the export of Italian agricultural products to Libya rose by 51 percent to a record 105 million euros in 2008.




 

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