Gaddafi lays down welcome mat for Spanish companies

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Libyan leader wants to encourage investment in Africa to fight poverty.

19 December 2007

MADRID - Muammar Gaddafi yesterday invited Spanish companies to use Libya as a springboard for investing in other African countries as a means of boosting the continent's development.

"We have to attract European investment in order to generate development at all levels, create employment and reduce poverty," the Libyan leader said in Madrid at the end of his first official visit to Spain after 38 years as leader of the North African nation.

Gaddafi met with a group of Spanish businessmen headed by the chairman of the country's Chambers of Commerce, Javier Gómez Navarro. The Libyan leader underscored that Spanish firms would enjoy legal security in his country.

Libya plans investments of some EUR 50 billion to develop the country's infrastructure, of which some EUR 12 billion could go to Spanish firms. Gaddafi said the presence of large companies in Libya could pave the way for small-to-medium-sized Spanish firms.

Leading Spanish oil company Repsol YPF has been present in Libya for 20 years and produces some 300,000 barrels a day with the state-owned National Oil Company while the construction firm Sacyr recently signed an accord with the Libyan Company for Development and Investment.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Adrián Soto/ Miguel Ángel Noceda 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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