China said on Wednesday that Libya was ready to compensate Chinese companies, raising the possibility that Chinese businesses that suffered losses during the country’s unrest may receive some payment.
China has limited investment in exploring and producing oil in Libya, and is instead focused on servicing the sector, but has significant construction contracts in the country.
“We’ve noticed that the representatives from the Libyan transitional government, now the new government, have stated that the Libyan side is ready to compensate Chinese companies for their losses in Libya,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.
“We appreciate such positive remarks from the Libyan side and will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to actively engage in the post-war reconstruction in Libya.”
China said earlier this year that it had suffered severe economic losses as a result of the political turmoil in Libya.
China’s top three state oil firms China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Sinopec Group and CNOOC all have engineering projects in Libya, but no oil production yet, company officials said.
Liu also said that China welcomes the formation of Libya’s new government that was unveiled on Tuesday by the National Transitional Council.
“The establishment of Libya’s interim government marks an important step forward in Libya’s political transition process,” he said.
China had been, along with Russia, one of the few major countries to withhold recognition from the NTC until it recognised the rebels in September.