Libya is seeking to restore its economy and place things back in order after experiencing a civil war two years ago.

Libyan ambassador to Malaysia Dr Abubaker al-Mansouri said the country was keen on collaborating with Malaysia in various sectors.

Abubaker said that the Libyan government is looking at Malaysia as a “model” not only politically but economically as well, being a country from which it can emulate on expanding its economy at a seminar on “Doing Business in Algeria and Libya” organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation last Thursday.

Abubaker said that he would like to see more Malaysian companies invest in Libya, especially in the oil and gas sectors. There are currently six Malaysian oil and gas companies in Libya.

“The number is small compared to the number of oil and gas companies from Italy, US and Germany. China is also coming in now,” he said.

According to Abubaker, investments in the oil and gas sector were significant in 2012 and he hoped for more Malaysian companies to take advantage and seize the opportunity to invest in it. He remarked that it was a chance to assist Libya, with many countries from South-East Asia such as South Korea and China investing in Libya.

Abubaker said that the Malaysia-Libya Interoperatability Initiative was set up in January 2012 to assist various sectors such as information technology, health, education, agriculture, industrial, tourism and training and administration.

He addressed the complaint by Malaysians that Libya was too far for them to do business in, preferring instead to invest in neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, saying that in business, distance is not the idea.

Abubaker wanted to make known that Libya is now very much receptive to business.

“Now, Libya has become a new country. We are opening our doors to businesses from all countries. We welcome more Malaysian businessmen to participate as there are already many investors from different parts of the world in Libya,” he said.

Libya has a population of around six million, with neighbouring countries including Tunisia, Algeria, Chad, Sudan and Egypt. Libya’s exports to Malaysia include oil and gas, while its imports are palm oil, rubber, and electrics and electronics.