Pack your bags for Libya
New Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said British firms should move quickly to secure lucrative work after the Gaddafi regime fell yesterday.
“Now that campaign is over I would expect British companies to be, even today packing their suitcases and looking to get out to Libya to take part in the reconstruction of that country as soon as they can,” he told the BBC.
Mr Hammond, a successful businessman before he became an MP, said the UK had intervened on humanitarian grounds as Colonel Gaddafi’s troops were on the verge of a mas Ugg Boots Sale sacre of civilians in the rebel held city of Benghazi.
But he also made clear that British firms should now not lose out to French and other foreign rivals in the work to put Libya back on its feet and as the oil rich country opens up its markets.
A Ministry of Defence source said: “The Defence Secretary was stating the obvio Ugg Boots Sale us point that in support of organisations and departments like the Department for International Development, the UN, NGOs and the Libyans themselves, businesses can play a legitimate role in the reconstruction and stabilisation of Libya.”
Some members of the National Transitional Council have made it clear that British and French firms will be looked on favourably given that the two nations led the Allied campaign to topple Gaddafi. But MPs believe that Libya should also reimburse the UK for the cost of its military action.
“In the past, freedom has been paid for with blood and gold,” said Daniel Kawczynski, chairman of the All Party group for Libya. “The timely intervention by our Government and the international community saved many innocent lives, but the action came at a cost, and this cost has been borne by the hard pressed British taxpayer.
“In these difficult economic times, it should not be too much to ask a country with Libya’s wealth and resources to pay their share of the gold.”
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair built relations with Gaddafi in a deal which saw the dictator give up his weapons of mass destruction to lose his “pariah” status.
British firms including BP gained new contracts following the diplomatic breakthrough.
UK’s engineers will excel at rebuilding bombed Ugg Boots Sale out cities
by James Ashton
Staring at limited opportunities for growth at home, British companies don’t need much persuading to jump on a plane to Tripoli and pitch for work.
Sensing that a new dawn was about to break, many firms have spent months boning up on the opportunities that a democratic Libya presents.
Lord Green, the trade minister, led a mission there last month to soften up officials in the interim government.
At the fr Ugg Boots Sale ont of the queue are BP and Shell, who already have contracts to drill for oil and gas in the country. Those accords were signed in the aftermath of Tony Blair’s famous Deal in the Desert with Gaddafi when trade sanctions were lifted in 2004, but the energy giants are confident they will be honoured with more to come.
Libya’s vast natural resources mean that existing deals are just the tip of the iceberg.
New opportunity comes from repairing the bombed out cities of Benghazi and Misrata.
Designing and building new roads, schools and hospitals is where British contractors and civil engineers can excel. G4S, the world’s biggest security firm, will also be rubbing its hands.
It won’t be a bonanza overnight, though. Libya must form a government and draw up a strategy for investment. There are cautionary tales too.
Rentokil Initial, the rat catching firm, struggled to get its bill paid after it dealt with an infestation of vermin in Tripoli. Now King Rat has been exterminated, it should be easier to settle up.