Vincent Tchenguiz has signed a $20m (£9.8m) agreement with Colonel Muammer Gadaffi’s government to help foreign defence and aerospace groups to operate in Libya.
Like many governments, Libya requires foreign contractors to invest in the country in exchange for lucrative military or civil aerospace deals. But many foreign contractors find it difficult to fulfil these ‘offset’ or ‘countertrade’ obligations.
Tchenguiz’s Consensus Business Group is investing in a research centre with Imperial Innovations, the AIM-listed arm of Imperial College, and the Libyan government’s Technical Studies Research Centre. Defence and aerospace manufacturers that invest in the venture will obtain credits which will cancel out the ‘offset’ obligations assumed in trade deals with the country.