Relations: Political and Economy, Culture, Diaspora and Current Status

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Relations

Political

Good till Arab Spring-High level visits by Murli Deora and Pranab Mukherjee in 2007

Economy

  • Total trade of US$ 844.62 Million for the year 2009-10. The

  • bilateral trade began showing significant upward trend since 2004-05, peaking to US $

  • 1,366.65 Million in the year 2007-08

  • India’s oil import from Libya is just one million tonnes out of the annual import of 160 million tonnes. Projecting into the future, analysts believe that Libya has reserves to sustain its previous level of production of1.6 million barrels per day(2%) output of high-quality crude for 80 years.

  • Indian companies especially in Hydrocarbon, Power, Construction

  • and IT sector have several ongoing projects in Libya. Indian Oil majors -Indian Oil, Oil India and ONGC Videsh (OVL) are increasingly involving themselves with Libyan hydrocarbon sector-both in Upstream as well downstream

Culture

A Cultural Cooperation Agreement (CCA) was signed in 2007 during the External Affairs Minister’s visit to Libya.

Diaspora

NRI/PIO population in Libya was estimated to be 18,000 prior to the recent conflict in Libya. A few hundred Indians still remain in Libya, mainly working in various universities and hospitals.

Current Status

  • India abstained last week from a U.N. vote on the no-fly zone in Libya that also authorised military action, but since then it has been more vocal in its rejection of airstrikes, joining China and Russia in criticizing the coalition of Western powers and the Arab league and its actions against the Libyan government.

  • New Delhi officially endorsed the African Union’s (AU’s) stand of calling for an immediate ceasefire and a political solution through peaceful means and dialogue for peace in Libya

  • Rebel leaders had already made clear that countries active in supporting their insurrection – notably Britain and France – should expect to be treated favorably once the dust of war had settled.

  • Chinese and Russian companies also had a significant presence in the country but could face difficulties after being equivocal early on about the rebel plan to unseat Gaddafi.

  • The new government clearly wants to get the oil industry back up and running as quickly as possible, and they know that can be best done with the help of the foreign companies that previously operated them. It might not break any previous contracts

Reconstruction

infrastructure essentials such as roads, schools, and health clinics, all of which will be in short supply in post-Gaddafi Libya. There is a need for substantial funding.

Therefore, it is too early to count China out from the race—they do not come burdened by colonial history, and they come with deeper pockets than all their competitors and they have the necessary technology.

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