Tripoli, 30 May;
The Thai minister of Labour, Padermchai Sasomsap, has suggested that in return for sending Thai workers to Libya, Thailand . . .[restrict]be paid in oil. The aim is to ensure regular supplies of oil for Thailand’s robust and increasingly industrial economy.
Prior to last year’s revolution, there were over 10,000 Thai workers in Libya, mostly in the construction industry. They worked for Libyan and foreign firms, not Thai ones, which have been largely absent from the Libyan scene. At the moment however, according to the Thai embassy, there are around 300-400.
“We assisted in evacuating them back to Thailand during February – March 2011, and are now considering about their return to work in Libya on a case by case basis,” said a Thai embassy official.
The barter idea is “in the initial stages of discussions, but nothing has materialized as yet”, said Thai ambassador, Joompol Manaschuang, who took up his post earlier this month.
“It’s a new idea. We still have to talk with the Libyan government about it,” he told Libya Herald.
Such a barter system could “get things done faster” he believed. The basic suggestion is that Thailand’s national oil company PTT would pay for oil from Libya by sending workers. The system could also be used to barter Thai goods.
“We have construction materials and labour. We need your oil,” the ambassador said.
Such a deal would, however, have to be done at government-to-government level. [/restrict]