28/10/2011

'Rebuild Libya' Says Assembly Trade Committee MLA

There's gold in the desert according to a member of the Stormont Assembly's Enterprise Trade and Investment Committee.

Robin Newton, who is also Chairman of the Assembly's Business Trust and is an East Belfast DUP MLA, has called for a concerted effort to exploit Libya's emerging business opportunities and help physically rebuild the war-ravaged country.

He said: "Opportunities are presented following the downfall of Gaddafi's reign.

"A democratic government in this oil rich state offers opportunities for Northern Ireland.

"We have many skilled workers with engineering, construction and other technical skills who can make a contribution to developing Libya's infrastructure and maximising the country's oil reserves," he said.

"Rebuilding the economy will be a priority for the new government with the local economic downturn meaning businesses and individuals need to consider opportunities wherever they arise," he added.

"Libya has many problems but also offers opportunities to which western economies can make a positive contribution," said the former Junior Minister.

"This can be a win-win situation as Northern Ireland businesses replace lost turnover, local people get jobs and Libya benefits from our experience, knowledge and skills."

He also highlighted his DUP colleague and Executive Minister Arlene Foster's successful trade mission to Kurdistan in January this year and her return mission confirm the business openings in the Middle East and added: "Libya's interim government has stated they will stand by those who helped them in their struggle.

"The UK played a major role in deposing the tyrannical Gaddafi regime.

"With resolute and strenuous efforts across all the Assembly's departments, as a part of the UK, increased business in Libya can be won.

"However Libya's business doors will not stay open for long," he warned.

(BMcC)

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