Chinese delegation in Libya to discuss post-war business

A delegation of Chinese government officials and company executives arrived in Tripoli on Saturday night to inspect Chinese assets in the country and discuss how the nation can assist Libya's post-war reconstruction. 

The delegation, led by Wang Shenyang, head of the foreign investment and economic cooperation department of the Ministry of Commerce, will assess the damage to Chinese assets in Libya and talk with Libyan officials about uncompleted projects. 

The team, due to leave Libya on Wednesday, includes representatives of Chinese companies with interests in the country, mainly in the construction, railways, power and telecommunications sectors. 

China State Construction Engineering Corp, China Gezhouba Group Corp, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, China's biggest telecom equipment manufacturer, and ZTE Corp are among the companies represented by their executives. 

The delegation's visit was originally scheduled to take place in October, but was postponed due to instability in the country. 

Libyan Foreign Minister Ashour bin Khayal said that the interim government welcomed Chinese companies to return and participate in his nation's post-war reconstruction, Xinhua News Agency reported last December. 

According to official statistics, 75 Chinese companies had 50 contracts for major projects, worth $18.8 billion by March 2011. 

The Ministry of Commerce said that most Chinese contractors have unfinished business in Libya, including China Communications Construction Company Ltd, whose projects' assets totaled 2.3 billion yuan ($348 million) by June 2011, with around 1.1 billion yuan unpaid. 

The interim government had promised to fulfill the unfinished contracts with China, said He Wenping, an expert on West Asian and African studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, adding that China suffered economic losses due to Libya's civil war, but not as severe as the $40 billion previously estimated by some media reports. 

As contractors, most Chinese companies in the country were responsible for construction based on Libyan partners' capital, He said. 

(Source: China Daily)

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