Envoy: Libya Plans New Era of Ties with Bahrain

Published September 1st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Libya will open a new era of ties with Bahrain by launching a range of social and cultural events, according to the Libyan ambassador to Manama, Nuri Baryun. 

Student/teacher exchange programs will also be introduced, he told the Gulf Daily News. 

Baryun said he would like to feature everything from concerts, art exhibits, and art and crafts shows, to high school and university internships. 

Professor exchange programs spanning such fields as computer science, engineering, geology and the health sciences, could also be held, he added. 

"Bahrain and Libya share many common interests, especially in the geo-sciences, mineral exploration and excavation areas," said Baryun. 

"We are also keen to learn from Bahrain's manufacturing sector, primarily from the aluminum sector and its downstream industries." 

Libya has many investments in Bahrain, with shareholding status in such firms as Arab Banking and Financial Service, Arab Insurance Group, Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Co. and the Arab Investment Bank. 

The country also has an interest in a number of small- and medium-sized joint venture projects. 

"However, we still have a ways to go to build the trade volume," he said. 

A Libyan products trade fair could be held next year in an effort to boost exposure of the country's burgeoning manufacturing sector, the envoy told the paper. 

Baryun has encouraged the commerce and industry ministry to bring the Made in Bahrain show to Tripoli, so that Libyan businessmen can have a first-hand view of Bahrain's product range. 

Central Statistics Organization figures show that the trade volume between Libya and Bahrain has edged up slightly in the past few years, especially since the country re-opened its embassy in Bahrain in 1998, according to the paper. 

The trade volume last year came to around BD4.3 million, compared with BD3.5 million in 1999 and BD1.6 million in 1998. 

Libyan exports to Bahrain last year totaled around BD2.7 million, compared with BD2.1 million in 1999. These included machinery items, fertilizers and chemical products, textiles and agricultural items. 

Bahrain's exports to Libya last year came to around BD1.6 million, compared with BD1.4 million in 1999. Bahraini exports were almost exclusively aluminum products. 

Baryun said he had identified a number of potential commodity exports on both sides that could generate long-term distribution arrangements, particularly within the aluminum sector – Albawaba.com 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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