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Libyan Arab Republic: Overseas Trade

Volume 464: debated on Friday 19 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will hold discussions on Anglo-Libyan trade with the British Council. (159158)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans to hold such discussions with the British Council, which does not have responsibility for our trade relations with Libya.

The British Council’s work in Libya focuses on helping to develop the Libyan education system and promoting English language skills. It does this through placing English language teachers in Libyan institutions and at the British Council’s own teaching centre in Tripoli. My noble Friend the right hon. Lord Kinnock opened the new centre in September 2006. The British Council employs 32 teachers in Libya. The Council does have links with Libyan industry through its skills-development and language training programmes.

The Government are committed to building strong trade relations with Libya through the combined work of UK Trade and Investment and our embassy in Tripoli. In addition, Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials are in close contact with relevant trade and business organisations.