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TRIPOLI (Kyodo) Some 2,000 corporations from 40 countries, including 12 Japanese firms and industry groups, are huddling in the Libyan capital for an international trade fair.

Organizers of the 36th Tripoli International Fair said they expect to see 250,000 people visit the fair during the 11-day event that started Monday.

“Libya is an attractive treasure-trove,” said Atsushi Inoue of Teikoku Oil Co., a subsidiary of Inpex Holdings Inc.

Teikoku Oil made successful bids in 2005 for rights to probe two Libyan oil exploration blocks.

Foreign oil explorers have begun to flock to Libya, which has confirmed crude reserves of 40 billion barrels, following the removal in 2003 of U.N. economic sanctions that had been slapped for its alleged support of terrorist activities.

The United States resuscitated diplomatic ties with Libya in 2006, but Libya is facing difficulties in pumping its rich oil resources due to an insufficient infrastructure.

Chikashi Yokota, an official of Sharp Corp., which took part in the fair for the first time, said, “We do not expect our participation to produce the immediate effect of inducing sales here.

“Our aim is to have Libyan people become familiar with our liquid crystal display televisions,” he said.

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