Medco Energi Establishes JOC for Libya Ops.


Indonesia’s PT Medco Energi Internasional, through its subsidiary Medco International Ventures Ltd. has officially established a joint operating company (JOC) in Libya. The JOC is with partners NOC and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). The JOC is named Nafusah Oil Operations.

MedcoEnergi will own an interest of 24.5%, while NOC and LIA will own interest of 51% and 24.5% respectively of the JOC.

The establishment of the LIA follows its successful exploration program on Area 47. The exploration program saw 18 out of 20 well a discovery, a success rate of 90%. Subsequently, the JOC is established to act as the operator for development and production phases of in the Area 47.

Additionally, the Management Committee (MC) that oversees both Medco International Ventures Ltd. as the operator of the exploration/appraisal phase and Nafusah Oil Operations as the operator of the development/production phase has obtained new members. The new MC membership that consist of four officer members – of which two persons are from NOC, one person is from LIA and one person is from MedcoEnergi, were formally appointed on February 25.

The production from Libya Area 47 is envisaged to start in 2016 with an ultimate production plateau of 50,000 bpd of oil. The development project is planned to monetize about 300 million boe of recoverable reserves from six out of 16 oil and gas fields that were discovered so far in Area 47. Total capital investment is estimated at about $900 million, comprising of $280 million for drilling and $620 million for surface facilities. MedcoEnergi’s portion will be approximately $220 million.

Lukman Mahfoedz, President Director & CEO of MedcoEnergi, expressed that, “MedcoEnergi is very pleased with this accomplishment, following up the Commerciality Declaration in December 2011. The development of Area 47 Libya sets an important milestone of Libya’s oil production from a new field development, and contributes to significant income to the country as well as to the Company.” Lukman also added that “We are very excited for the remaining 10 fields, that were discovered, are being appraised right now for the next stage of development.”


Subex Enters Libyan Market


Subex Ltd, a leading global provider of Business Support Systems (BSS) for Communications Service Providers (CSPs), has announced that it has been selected to provide its industry leading ROC Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management solutions to Almadar, a premier telecom operator in Libya.

In a competitive bid, Subex was selected for its market leadership, product superiority and domain expertise in the Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management space.

Jamal Hegag, Chairman, Almadar said:

“We are taking a fresh approach to our business proposition and it was important to build the right ecosystem. As a first step, we have chosen the ROC Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management solutions from Subex. Subex’s experience in the global revenue and fraud management space is unparalleled and we are confident that this engagement will enable us to our business in a more effective manner.“

Vinod Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, Subex Ltd. said:

“Libya is an interesting telecom market with a lot of potential. Our market leadership and strong domain capabilities in the area of Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management help us enable our customers to realize operational efficiencies and improve profits.“

ROC Revenue Assurance is the telecom industry’s first revenue assurance solution that simplifies RA. It tackles critical challenges across the entire revenue chain with ease. It offers two path breaking concepts – RevenuePad and Zen which simplifies and speeds up the process of revenue recovery.

ROC Fraud Management detects known fraud types and patterns of unusual behaviour, helps investigate these unusual patterns for potential fraud, and uses the knowledge, thus generated, to upgrade and protect against future intrusions.

Source: libyaninvestment

US-Libyan Relations are Strategic in All Areas


The head of the interim government Mr. Ali Zaidan said in his meetings in Washington with U.S. officials which aimed at the development of bilateral relations and taking care of the future relations between Libya and the United States of America.

Zaidan said in his talks with the U.S. Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry, leader of the U.S. Democrats House of Representatives Mr. Nancy Pelos and Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary – that the talks also aimed at the importance of strengthening Libyan-American relations in various fields to achieve the objectives for the best of the two peoples of both countries.

Zaidan sai that the relationship with the United States is a strategic in terms of the foreign policy, stressing that this relationship will be at the best level in the various political, economic and educational aspects in order to maintain security in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa

He noted that the United States pledged to help Libya in pursuit of the stolen funds.

Regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Zaidan renewed the keenness and determination of Libyan government and the Libyan people to work with the United States in order to reach the truth and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to trial.


Al Rajhi to Expand Agricultural Investment in Libya


Sulaiman Al Rajhi International Group for Commerce and Investment announced its intention to expand the base of investments in agricultural sector in Aljabal Alkhader, Libya.

The Executive Director of the Group Khalid Almilahi confirmed the determination of the Group to establish plastic farms of high quality and international standards for the production of a good variety of agricultural products.

He added: The success of the investment models (Al Rajhi) neighboring countries to stimulate the group to add other models achieve common goals and interests of the parties towards the objectives of achieving Arab food security.

OMV Posts 25% Jump in Libyan Oil Production


The Austrian oil and gas company OMV, which is part-owned by Abu Dhabi, posted a 25 per cent jump in revenues after reviving production in Libya that had been wiped out during the 2011 urising that ousted the Gaddafi regime from power.

Thanks to Libyan fields that had been completely shut-in for eight months during 2011 uprising getting back online, OMV’s overall oil and gas production increased by 5 per cent last year. However, it cautioned, that the security situation in Libya remained “volatile”.

Early this year, strikes in Libya also contributed to an overall drop in the country’s production to 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from recovery levels of 1.6 million bpd.

Gerhard Roiss,OMV’s chief executive said his company benefited from the return of production in Libya and from a stabilised, on-target production in Romania and Austria. “We managed to deliver a record financial performance while successfully progressing our strategy,” he said.

The emirate’s International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) owns a 24.9 per cent stake in OMV, which is also a joint investor with Ipic on Borealis, the Austrian petrochemicals producer. Borealis, in turn, is a joint venture partner with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on the emirate’s specialised polymers producer, Borouge.

OMV said it would proceed with its goal of shedding €1 billion (Dh4.86bn) worth of refining and chemicals assets by next year, and would dedicate much of this year’s €2.8bn planned capital expenditure on newly acquired gasfields in Norway.

It forecast that Brent crude, the European benchmark, would continue trading above US$100 a barrel.


Turkey-Libya trade volume to hit $5 bln in 2013


Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan has stated the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Libya was $3.4 billion and now they aim to increase it to $5 billion in 2013. Caglayan spoke at a dinner which was held in honor of Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in Istanbul on Tuesday and stressed that the close relations between two countries had a long history.

Caglayan said, he believed Libya would over come the transitional period easily and added that whether in economy or social life, Libya would be the attraction centre of North Africa.

The Turkish minister underlined, Turkey’s support to Libya would continue to the full extent and noted, during Libya’s new term, Turkey would stand by them and said, “Turkish building contractors and Turkish business world stayed to the last minute during the revolution in Libya and after the revolution they were the first ones to get back and this structure will continue as well as the Turkish-Libyan friendship.”

Caglayan expressed that in 2002, the trade volume between Turkey and Libya was $920 million and it increased to $3.4 billion by 2012.

“We hope and aim to increase it to $5 billion by 2013 and up to $10 in a couple of years time,” suggested Caglayan.

Moreover, Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan stated that three months ago the Libyan government started off their duty and in that period of time, they visited Turkey twice.

Zeidan noted, the purpose of their trip was to exchange ideas in the fields of economy and trade, and to cooperate more.

He expressed, they see Turkey as a partner to fulfill development in Libya.


Libyan Oil Exports Exceeds 485 Million Barrel


The National Oil Corporation of Libya stated that the size of the country’s exports of oil last year exceeded 485 million barrels per day. The state-owned Corporation announced on Wednesday that the crude exports amounted to 485 million and 149 thousand barrels in 2012.

A statement of the NOC published on its website showed that the NOC exported 379 million and 508 thousand barrels last year, and rest quotas are to partners, pointing out that domestic consumption reached to 52 million and 668 thousand barrels.

The vital oil sector in Libya witnesses improvement in production after some setbacks by armed revolution overthrew Colonel Gaddafi in December last year.

Rom another perspective, the Italian Eni expressed its intention to invest eight billion dollars in Libya over the next decade to develop its activities there, and enter in new exploration projects.

Eni operates in Libya since 1959 and is responsible for about a third of the country’s production.


Libya: Turkey Expects Exports to Libya to Reach $5 Billion in 2013


Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan says trade volume between Libya and Turkey, which was 3.5 billion USD in 2012, would reach five billion USD by the end of 2013.

Speaking at Turkey-Libya Business Forum held in Istanbul on Tuesday, Caglayan said he recently held meetings with Libyan PM Ali Zeidan, Transportation Minister Abd al-Qader Mohammed Ahmed, Finance Minister Elkilani Abd al-Karim al-Jazi, and President & Parliament Speaker Mohammed Yusuf al-Magariaf.

Speaking at the forum, Caglayan said that Turkey would support Libya in issues such as organized industrial zones, private economy zones, and incentive system.

Caglayan said that there should be an economic diversification in Libya, adding that Libya should be a country where Turkey would invest in tourism, industry, trade and services sectors.

Caglayan noted that he and Libyan finance minister agreed to sign social security and economic partnership agreement as well as agreement on prevention of double taxation soon.


Minister of Oil and Gas Calls Saudi Investors to Work in Libya


The Libyan Minister of Oil and Gas Dr. Abdulbari Alarussi confirmed the support of Libya to Saudi Arabia in its presidency of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), revealing that the Saudi investor will launch two factories in Libya with 450 million riyals; a Cement and Sugar Factories.

He explained in a statement published newspaper Al-Hayat, that in spite of the Libyan revolution, the country has maintained a portion of the volume of oil production as it produces one million barrels per day, while the ambition is to reach to 1.7 that is consistent with the share available in OPEC.

Alarussi said: “we are looking for those who have a sincere desire to invest, and then it will be our role to overcome the difficulties, and the Arabs have the priority to invest in Libya.

He talked to Saudi businessmen saying that Libya sterile ground needs to your support and we have a range of projects at hand and are looking for investors to drill wells, provide services to maintain production, develop refineries, refine petrochemicals, develop the gas industry and build industrial cities.

Libya welcomes all investors and it exempted foreign investors from taxes for five years with other three extendable years, taking into account that it is mandatory to have a Libyan partner.

Source :

Libya to Expand Aviation Network


Libya announced that it is in the process of entirely developing air and sea fleet and to create a new sea ports.

The Libyan Deputy Prime Minister of Technical Affairs Abdul Salam Algadi said that the two companies of African and Libyan Airways will possess before the end of this year a sufficient number of modern aircraft, which should entitle them to expand networks and flights across the world to cover the deficit in the field of aviation.

He added that international companies will start soon in the completion of infrastructure projects at Sabha, Benghazi and Tripoli Airports.

In the same context, the Libyan Minister of Communications and Transport Abdulkader Mohamed said that the Ministry will start next week implementation of a maintenance program to coastal road from Tripoli to Ras Jedir, in addition to continuing maintenance roads in the south.

He added that the Ministry has long-term plan aimed at implementing new major airports to connect various parts of Libya, as well as preparing a study of Libyan beach in order to implement some of new ports to receive all types of ships.


Minister of Oil and Gas Receives Director-General of U.S. Marathon Company


The Minister of Oil and Gas Dr. Abdulbari Alarussi received on Wednesday 01/30/2013 the Director-General of U.S. Marathon Company to discuss the activities of the Company in Libya. The company is a part of the coalition of U.S. companies under the umbrella of Waha Oil and Gas operating in Libya.

The Minister welcomed the presence of American companies in Libya adding that the Ministry intends to establish an institution to manage and supervise the activity of the oil and petrochemical industry in Benghazi and it desires that U.S. to contribute in this aspect.

Talks also dealt with the willingness and readiness of the international oil companies to train young Libyan in oil fields as the Ministry is considering preparing plans and training programs to accommodate the national manpower.

The Director-General Manager of U.S. Marathon Petroleum Company thanked the minister on the reception and hospitality and expressed the company’s desire to further cooperate and provide services to the Libyan oil sector.

Source :

Libya Has Projects Could Reach $140 Billion


The Governor of Central Bank of Libya Mr. Asadiq Omer Alkabir stated that Libya has projects worth $140 billion adopted by the previous regime and now these projects are under scrutiny.

Alkabir added that there other projects will be put out with a huge cost , revealing a huge budget for 2013 suits the exceptional stage that Libya undergo at the moment.

The Libya currency is not in circulation with of the Libyan local market and it was agreed with Tunisia to start dealing with the Libyan currency in a certain ceiling.

The neibouring countries will be informed through the Libyan embassies with the new edition of the Libyan currency so that they use it, said the governor.


Med Cross Lines establishes Turkey-Libya route


Italian-headquartered Med Cross Lines has announced that it will be expanding its Europe to Libya services to include two port calls in Turkey.

Loris Trevisan, CEO of Med Cross Lines, said: “The extended service now includes two of Libya’s major business partners – Italy and Turkey.”

The new route will be serviced by the Birka Express, a 1997 Romanian and Norwegian-built vessel. It has a 1775-metre capacity for ‘ro-ro’ (roll on/roll off) cargo, specifically for the transportation of vehicles. It can also carry 336 containers, or twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

Med Cross Lines said the Birka Express could reach speeds up to 20 knots, which would give fast connections to Libya. Trevisan said: “The two-day shipping link between Izmir, Turkey and Libya will be one of the fastest Ro-Ro and container services,” to the country.

The Birka Express will set sail from Italy on 15 February, leaving Istanbul on 19 February.

The shipping company, established last year, launched its first service from Venice, Italy and Koper, Slovenia, to Libya in November.

Source :

Irish airline Ryanair eyes Libyan market


The budget Irish airline Ryanair plans to expand into new markets in North Africa, including Libya, according to CEO Michael O’Leary.

“The new regimes will be seen to be delivering some growth and economic activity and I think deregulation and open skies is one of the first things those regimes are looking at,” O’Leary told Reuters, “so we’re talking to the Tunisians, the Libyans and the Egyptians.”

Ryanair is well-known in Europe for its ‘no-frills’ service and cut-price fares.

Lesley Kane, head of sales and marketing at Ryanair told the Libya Herald today: “We’re in discussion with over a hundred airports, including in Northern Africa, for further expansion over the next few years.”

Kane said that she was unable to comment on which airports Ryanair were negotiating with

Asked whether the airline would principally target the business or tourism market in North Africa, Kane said: “Everybody flies with Ryanair, whether you’re somebody on business or somebody flying for pleasure.” She added that the airline’s budget airfares made it a popular choice for many travellers.

If Ryanair does start flying from Europe to Libya, the destinations would be serviced by the same 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft that the airline uses on other routes. With a 298-strong fleet, it is currently one of the largest operators using the Boeing 737-800.

Ryanair already flies to Morocco and announced last week that it would be opening two new bases, at Fez and Marrakech, during 2013. “Essaouira and Rabat are also newly-announced airports that will launch at the end of March,” Kane said.


Investment in Renewable Energy Projects.


A Libya high-level delegation headed by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy Dr Muhammad Ali participated in the meetings of the Executive Office of the Arab Ministerial Council for electricity which held in Doha. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Qatar, Egypt and Sultanate of Oman also participated in the meetings.

The meeting included discussion of several items related study linking Arab countries with power, to work on support it and solve all the problems and obstacles facing the sector to accelerate the implementation of this vital project.

Libya will also participate at the meetings of Energy Conference for the Middle East which will be held in Doha in the presence of a large number of officials and experts in the energy sector from different countries.

The conference will discuss about 200 investment projects in the energy sector, which range from $ 100 million to 25 billion dollars, while sources indicate to the total value of the projects to be implemented in the Middle East and North Africa is up to about $ 250 billion over the next five years.


UK mission talks trade and G8 cooperation


A British business mission, led the UK prime minister’David Cameron’s top trade envoy, is in Tripoli for a three-day visit.

Lord Marland is heading a delegation from the UK’s ‘CEO Taskforce’, a group of top executives from leading companies, including on this occasion, defence, security and aerospace firm BAE Systems and consultants Mott MacDonald among a dozen British firms.

Lord Marland, who is also the chairman of the British Business Ambassador’s network, and his colleagues, are expected to meet the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning and Health as well as senior representatives from the Libyan Investment Authority, Central Bank of Libya and National Oil Corporation.

According to the British embassy in Tripoli, Lord Marland’s delegation will discuss how British expertise in the healthcare, education, oil and gas, civil security and infrastructure sectors can contribute to the Libyan Government’s efforts to rebuild and revitalise the Libyan economy after the revolution and provide effective public services for its people.

Lord Marland has however come with a wider brief than boosting Libyan-UK trade. This year, the British have taken over the rotating annual presidency of the G8 bloc of leading economies. Part of the UK government’s vision for its year of leadership, is to push the Deauville Partnership. Set up by the G8 in May 2011, this initiative has set out a financial and policy framework, by which G8 states can work alongside international financial institutions, to provide technical help and support for Middle East countries in transition, which includes Libya.

Deauville also has a Capital Markets Initiative which aims to help businesses in Arab Spring countries to raise money, grow and create jobs.

The British also plan to host a London follow-up meeting from last September’s Arab Forum on Asset Recovery in Doha, as part of a G8 effort to push on with identifying and returning stolen assets.


Oil Exploration and Production in Libya Offers New Horizons for Turkey


Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz has said that they pay attention to Libya in the scope of oil exploration and production abroad.

He added that Turkey’s existing fields in Libya were not enough so they demanded for more.

Yildiz who is on a tour of Algeria, Libya and Qatar spoke to journalists while he was flying from Libya to Qatar.

Yildiz reminded that under the current deal, Turkey procures 56 cargo Liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria and demanded extra cargo for the winter season and lastly said that his negotiations in the country went very productive.

Furthermore, he said that Libya went through a such difficult period and said, “The normalization of the country will be possible with the rise in the petrol and natural gas revenue. If Libya’s oil output of 1.6 million barrels oil production daily increased to 2 million barrels, it would be beneficial for the country.

Yildiz said, “Turkey has oil exploration and production works in Libya’s Fezzan field however it is not enough. We demanded new fields. There are three probabilities in this topic. First of all, the independent approach of Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), secondly the cooperation of TPAO and Turkish private sector and lastly, the independent works of private sector.”

He said that during their meeting with President of Libyan General National Congress Mohammed el-Magariaf, they discussed the slow pace of cooperation which needs to be put aside.

He stressed that they discussed the same topic with officials of Libyan oil company NOC and said that their demand was to inform them with their wishes and put those wishes into practice as soon as possible.

Yildiz explained that Libyan officials were looking positively to both Turkey and the Turkish firms.

He stressed that during conflicts in the county, the power infrastructure of the country was damaged badly and said, “They will invest $2.5 billion in their power infrastructure this year. We wish to carry on their power infrastructure master plan. So in this case, Turkish private sector needs to undertake one quarter work of the investment for power infrastructure.”

Upon a question about the claims over Greek oil exploration in the Aegean Sea and the dispute, he said, “I do not think that our neighbour which deals with such economic problems would open arguments regarding the topic. We do not think of working in problematic areas in Aegean. In the scope of friendship of both countries, we made positive steps in the past. We will maintain this.”

Source :

New Middle East Association Trade Mission To Libya


With Libya’s economy set to grow exponentially and consequently provide significant opportunities for UK businesses, the New Middle East Association, MEA, is leading a Trade Mission to Libya in the spring of 2013,March 3-7.

The Libyan economy is expected to recover rapidly from 2010-2011 levels, with annual GDP growth projected to be 13.7% during 2012-2016. GDP contracted by 27.9% in 2011 but there is a growth rebound of 28.8% expected in 2012.

There is strong UK government support for developing long-term relationships with Libya, both at the ministerial level and through an increased range of products from UK Export Finance.

As the Libyans lay out the future plans for their economy and the rebuilding of their country, this is an ideal time for companies to visit the country and start to establish their visibility.The MEA anticipates that there will be opportunities for more immediate business agreements during the visit, and the important commencement of long-term relationships.

The newly-elected General National Congress, GNC, has powers to announce strategic plans for Libya’s economic future and to release budgets for public sector spending to modernise the infrastructure sector.

This in turn will stimulate private sector growth on an unprecedented scale. Priorities exist across all sectors including: construction, public work, municipal engineering, transport, communications, power, electricity, water, environment, security and education.

Libya holds the largest proven oil reserves on the African continent, and production has made a substantial recovery since the fall of the Gaddafi regime. By the middle of 2012 production reached 1.4 million bpd. Libya has proven natural gas reserves of 52.8 tcf. The new government will be seeking to increase oil production to pre-revolution levels and to improve the downstream sector.

The MEA invites registration for the trade mission to Libya which is an unparalleled way of assessing the market and gaining direct access to decision makers and commercial leaders as well as meeting potential clients and business partners.

Source :

Dubai Company Aims to Take Advantage of Libya Construction Industry


The UAE’s biggest building materials supplier, Dubai Danube, has expanded in the emerging markets of Africa with a footprint in Libya and Kenya – that will help the Dubai-based company tap greater opportunities in these markets while offering consumers and businesses in these feeder markets a slice of Dubai’s successes.

As the African market is set for a rebound following the Arab Spring, the construction industry is gaining momentum across the region with the demand for building materials being given a much-needed lift to Africa’s materials manufacturing sector.

Global construction will grow by 67 percent from $7.2 trillion (Dh26.4 trillion) to $12 trillion annually by 2020, Gulf News reports. Of this, the Middle East and African regions are expected to outpace the global growth rate, according to a new report sponsored by PwC and carried out by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics which the new leadership of the African continent are determined to benefit from.

Considering the steady recovery it experienced following the Arab Spring, Libya has huge potential to become a role model for other Arab nations. As it is recovering, Libya is experiencing a surge in demand across all economic sectors providing golden opportunities for investors.

The franchise outlet of Danube in Libya is located in Benghazi and is spread across 35,000 square feet. Both showrooms showcase an extensive collection of products including sanitary ware, ceramic tiles, parquet, flooring, chandeliers, garden furniture, timber, steel and other hardware. Danube also foresees expansion in other areas of Africa such as Ethiopia and Tunisia.

Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group says that his company’s commitment to the construction and building materials market is underlined by their expansion, which is aimed at addressing the needs of the customers across the region.

He aded: “With several construction projects currently under way and planned projects, there was an obvious demand for building materials in Africa which has helped us expand and consolidate our market presence in the region.”

With the twin initiatives, Danube is the first company in the UAE to extend its base to the Libyan market following the Arab Spring. The company has committed substantial investment and resources to expand in both these African markets and will play a catalyst’s role in feeding a wide market with the increase in demand.

Analysts predict that in both the emerging markets, Danube will have an early mover advantage as reconstruction of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt is creating a huge demand for both building materials and interiors products.

Source :

Promising Future Awaits British-Libyan Relations


The new Libyan ambassador to the United Kingdom Mahmoud Nakua presented his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, and praised the support provided by the United Kingdom to Libya.

He said during the reception, which was held in a five-star Ansporo hotel in London, that “It is an honor to be the first Libyan ambassador to the United Kingdom after the fall of the old regime. Well, it is a great honor for me and my wife and my colleagues to meet the Queen when presenting credential papers”.

Nakua also praised all those who helped in the revolution and said: “I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the substantial support provided by the British government to Libya”.

He added that he would employ all his powers and time in order to strengthen relations between Tripoli and London, pointing out that a promising future awaits the two countries.

Libya is committed to reducing corruption, and has signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption and now is considering signing a Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

With the beginning of the reconstruction process, is expected to see GDP growth of 9.5 per cent in 2013. And enhance the economic performance during 2012 thanks to the resumption of oil production and declining consumer price inflation faster than expected from 15.9 per cent to 10 per cent.

The British Agency of Trade and Investment will send a business delegation to Libya in the areas of construction and oil and gas in April 2013.


Foreign Businesses Thrive In Libya: Cinnabon is first U.S. franchise in Libya


After 42 years, the country formerly known as the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is getting its first taste of consumer capitalism in an unlikely form: sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls.

Cinnabon, the Atlanta-based bakery chain, is at the vanguard of a potential business boom in the Libya, Business Week reports.

In July the unit of Focus Brands became the first US franchise to open since the revolution, with a two-level Tripoli outlet. It’s become a popular destination in a city with few diversions for residents.

Cinnabon’s bet on Libya – it plans to open at least 10 new locations over the next five years – shows the perils and potential of this wealthy new consumer market, which is being eyed by a growing number of foreign companies.

The magazine goes on to say that Libya has a rickety electricity grid and few formal property rights, and that due to ongoing sectarian violence, it remains a dangerous place. But adds that the country sits atop Africa’s biggest oil reserves, which may generate as much as $55 billion for the state oil company this year.

That means there are plenty of well-off locals and expats who can afford to pay for a Western-style sweet.

Libya, is a less incongruous place for Cinnabon than one might expect. Syrupy treats like baklava are beloved in Libya, as in other Arab countries, so local palates are ready-made for the chain, explains Mike Shattuck, president of Focus Brands International. What’s more, in a Muslim country where bars are almost nonexistent, young people need places to hang out.

The magazine says that an influx of investment from Persian Gulf property developers means “down the road there’s no question there will be a big mall culture,” providing the natural habitat for future Cinnabon outlets.

For now the Tripoli store is very much a foreign oddity. Positioned as more upscale than the chain’s food court roots in the US, the shop has become a fixture on Gargaresh Road, Libya’s Fifth Avenue, where it attracts an affluent clientele. The prices are First World as well: A cinnamon bun and a regular coffee cost 6.50 dinars, or about $5.15, close to the price in the US.


Libya: Corinthia Signs €320M Contract to Build Medina Tower in Tripoli


In the presence of the Chairman of the Investment Board of Libya, Eng G. Guider and the Deputy Minister for Planning Ali Essaleh, the signing was carried out on Friday morning of the award of the contract – worth €320 million – for the construction of the Medina Tower, a 40-storey building project on a central seafront site in the heart of Tripoli.

The signing, at the Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel in the heart of the Libyan capital follows three years of negotiations, was signed by the technical director of the project, Bashir El Saleh, and the Maltese Managing Director of the Tower Joint Stock Company, Reuben Xuereb.

A symbolic ceremony presided by the chairman of Medina Tower, Taher Siala, and Yousef Abdelmaula, Vice Chairman of the Corinthia Group, has awarded the contract for the sub and superstructure works with Turkish contractor Koray.

The Medina Tower will comprise luxury residential units, class A office space, a commercial centre housing some of the top fashion brands, restaurants offering a wide international cuisine and a luxury spa with extensive leisure facilities.

The project the first of its kind in Libya, will take 40 months to complete. It will bring to the city an address where locals and foreigners alike can live in luxury, work in modern and technologically advanced office spaces, and enjoy the unique commercial and leisure facilities that this high rise iconic building will offer.

The Medina Tower, built on an 11,000 square metre plot of land, will cover 200,000 square metres of built-up area over 40 floors above ground, and four floors of underground parking that can accommodate up to 900 cars.

Maltese entrepreneur Mr Alfred Pisani, Chairman of the Corinthia Group, that also owns Palm City Residences just outside of Tripoli, described the occasion as another major milestone for the group that is now focused and excited about this new project in Tripoli.

Mr Pisani said that last year Libya went through a challenging period, and they had to deal with some very difficult and trying moments. “We have, however, remained focused and determined to push ahead with our investment plans and we are pleased to report that the hard work and determination has now paid off as we are about to break ground on this landmark development in the heart of Tripoli”.

Yorkshire Firms to Learn of Libyan Opportunities


Former UK Ambassador to Libya, Richard Northern (pictured), will present a talk entitled Rebuilding Libya: Prospects For Business to the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce in East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, later this month

He will be joined by Alan Fraser, Africa and Middle East Specialist at risk management company AKE Group Ltd, for the World Trade and One event at Two Humber Quays, Hull.

The event is open to businesses from across Yorkshire and Humber and has been organised by the International Trade Centre of Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce and corporate travel company Good Travel Management.

Kevin Harrison, managing director of Good Travel Management, will also speak at the event about a trade mission the company will be sending to Libya early next year.

Mr Harrison said Libya was very much “open for business”, adding:

“There are many areas of the economy in which British firms can have an impact. Opportunities exist in a range of other sectors … It is through events like World Trade @ 1 and the trade mission we are organising that we can help Yorkshire businesses unlock the potential there and benefit from the opportunities available.“


BP to Resume Libya Exploration


Energy giant BP plc (BP – Analyst Report) expects to resume deep-sea drilling work off the coast of Libya in 2013. The exploration program worth $2 billion was halted by the company in February 2011 following the rebel uprising that led to the overthrow of Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

In May, BP recommenced its operations in the North African country and is now planning to start the preliminary activities required before drilling work.

The deal – originally signed back in 2007 – included exploration of the frontier Sirte Basin. Management at the British major believes that this geographical area is equivalent in size to more than ten of its deep-water blocks in Angola. As part of the 2007 deal, the company has already amassed 31,000 square kilometers of three-dimensional seismic data, both offshore and onshore.

Management’s renewed drilling program in Libya will see BP drill 25 exploration wells in 2013, which is expected to increase cash flow and returns to shareholders.

BP also invited tenders on Libyan National Oil Company website to conduct underwater geological surveys. The closing date for tender submission was August 14.

London, England-based BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemical products. It operates in three segments: Exploration and Production, Refining and Marketing, and Other Businesses and Corporate.

Recently, BP revealed plans to sell its California oil refinery and 800 statewide gas stations to refining giant Tesoro Corporation (TSO – Analyst Report) for $2.5 billion. This brings its total divestitures to about $26.5 billion since the announcement of the divestiture program in 2010.

BP announced divestitures of several non-core GoM assets, including its stakes in Marlin, Horn Mountain, Holstein, Ram Powell and Diana Hoover. The company has a fund-raising objective of about $38 billion by the end of next year. Although BP’s asset sale will help in overcoming spill-related costs, its production could be hampered by this ongoing venture.


Libya and America sign memorandum of agreement


Libya signs a memorandum of agreement between the Libyan and American chambers of trade, industry and agriculture. The agreement aims to develop and support all the sectors of tourism, agriculture, oil and gas, medicine, education, etc…

The memorandum stipulates benefiting from American expertise for transfer of technology, protection of consumers, encouraging production of products that comply with the highest international standards.

Service for visas will be established to expedite preparation of visas for American citizens who desire to visit Libya and Libyan citizens who desire to visit America.

Source :

Build Libya 2012: Dubai Investments showcases subsidiaries’ line-up of industrial products


Dubai Investments PJSC (DI), the largest investment company listed on the Dubai Financial Market, is marking a presence at Build Libya 2012 by showcasing the industrial products and services of its subsidiaries.

The eighth edition of the international tradeshow which started yesterday runs until May 24 at the Tripoli International Fairground. The event features expertise and technology across a broad range of sectors from the international export community that meets the new Libyan government’s goals of rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.

Khalid Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Investments, said: “Dubai Investments has been working in Libya through its subsidiaries for several years now. Libya’s redevelopment process offers excellent prospects to leverage our expertise and contribute to the country’s trade, infrastructural, and real estate sectors.

We hope this exhibition will provide us further opportunities to network with industry majors and government officials to gain significant traction within the rapidly growing market.

“We have been in talks with Libyan officials, but due to the political climate in the region, it wasn’t conducive to start new projects. We have now re-started negotiations with them and they are keen to benefit from our experience gained in developing DIP. Our senior managers are currently in Libya to take this synergy forward”, he added.

Masharie, the private equity arm of Dubai Investments, is showcasing companies such as light fixture manufacturer Lite Tech; cable management system pioneer Gulf Metal Craft; multi-service electricity control unit manufacturer Gulf Dynamic Switchgear; sealant manufacturer Anchor Allied; interior design and decoration consultant Gulf Dynamic Services; aluminium extrusions manufacturer Emirates Extrusions; turnkey laboratory furniture manufacturer Labtec, and specialised foundation contractor Stromek.

Emirates Glass, Lumiglass and Emirates Float Glass, part of Glass LLC, the first glass holding company in the Middle East, have brought their expertise to the event.

Dubai Investments Industries’, auxiliary manufacturers including Dubai Cranes, Global Pharma and Emirates Building Systems are exhibiting their portfolio of project engineering and consultancy services. Dubai Investments Industries the industry arm of DI is committed to boosting the industrial development in local and regional markets.

Build Libya 2012 is drawing participation of companies from varied sectors such as construction, electricity, lighting, infrastructure, telecommunication, agriculture, food and beverages, as well as general products including plastic and packaging.

Source :Emirates News Agency (

Libya excluded from Saudi-Tunisian Talks


Following talks with the Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali who arrived in Saudi Arabia for a two-day visit on 18 Februry, the Secretary-General of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, Fahad Al-Sultan said the meeting did not cover the reconstruction of Libya.

He revealed that the most important item to be discussed was the need to create shipping companies between the two countries to resolve transportation obstacles which are the biggest problems facing them. Saudi trade with Libya is difficult and has been characterised by bureaucratic hurdles. Shipments generally have to go through third countries and air transport is only used for the shipment of light goods. Suleiman Bin Ibrahim Al-Eeri, head of the Saudi Arabian-Tunisian Business Council, had earlier called for the establishment of a free zone between Libya and Tunisia which would facilitate the entry of Saudi companies through Tunisia into Libya in order to enable them to participate in Libya’s reconstruction.

Accompanying the Tunisian Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia were six ministers, including the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation.

The delegation included twenty-four Tunisian businessmen representing eight economic sectors as well as a number of officials in industrial and business groups. They discussed with the Saudis the mechanisms of trade and investment cooperation and economic developments and the obstacles hindering investors on both sides.

Shipping represented the most important issue to the private sector since it is the backbone of transporting goods between the two countries and on to other parts of North Africa. Al-Eeri had called for the establishment of real estate complexes and permanent exhibitions marketing products of the two countries. Air links between the two countries should also be increased since those at present were insufficient.

He added that these were the concerns and constraints limiting the expansion of investment and also tourism. There was a need to simplify the issuing of visas. He said that the Saudi business sector in Tunisia should concentrate on finding solutions to problems in order to promote the strengthening of trade and investment relations between the two countries.

In addition, he pointed out that the visit of the Tunisian Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation was of great value. The visit was an indication of the strength and durability of the relations between the two countries. He said that the visit to Tunisia by Saudi businessmen in 2010 had focused on many of the problems needing to be resolved and it had indicated the importance of trade relations between the two countries. The present visit to the Kingdom marked the beginning of addressing these problems.


Turkish Exports to Libya On Increase


According to figures issued by Turkey’s country’s statistics authority, TurkStat, Turkish exports to Libya, Russia, Jordan, Syria, and Albania were up in the last three years after visa exemption.

Turkey and Libya launched visa exemption on April 19, 2009. Exports rose to 1.9 billion from 1.8 billion between 2009 and 2010. However, Turkish exports to Libya had a significant decrease due to Arab Spring and fell to 747.7 million USD in 2011.

Turkey earned 526 million USD from its exports to Libya in the first quarter of 2012.

Although Turkish exports to Libya had a slight decrease in 2011, they continued to increase in the first quarter of 2012.

Turkish exports to Russia rose to 4.6 billion USD in 2010 and to 6 billion USD in 2011. They were around 3.2 billion USD in 2009.

Turkey and Russia lifted visa procedures for trips up to 30 days on May 12, 2010, and as a result, Turkey earned 1.5 billion USD from its exports to Russia in the first quarter of 2012.

Turkey and Albania lifted visa under a memorandum of understanding they signed on November 20, 2009. Turkish exports to this country decreased to 241 million from 273.1 million between 2009 and 2010 due to global financial crisis, but they rose to 270.7 million USD in 2011, and Turkey exported goods worth 64.8 million USD in the first three months of 2012.

Turkey also lifted visa procedures with Syria on October 17, 2009, and its exports to Syria were 1.4, 1.9 and 1.6 billion USD respectively in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Turkey exported goods worth 172 million USD to Syria in the first quarter of 2012.

Lastly, Turkey and Jordan ended visa procedures on December 1, 2009. Turkish exports to Jordan rose to 571 million from 455 million USD between 2009 and 2010.

Source :

Turkish Food and Agriculture Firms in Libya


Libya is returning to ‘normal life’ in post-Gadhafi era.

Turkish firms showed high interest to ‘Libya International Agriculture and Marine Fishery Exhibition’ which takes place in capital city of Tripoli. A total of 51 Turkish companies join the fair and started to work on expanding their business contacts.

Opening of the exhibition was held by Libyan Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Suleiman Abu Harruba and Minister of Economy Ahmed Salem Al-Koshli. Turkish Ambassador in Tripoli Ali Kemal Aydin attended the opening ceremony.

Libyan officers of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries Ministry paid special attention for Turkish companies’ attendance to the three-day exhibition. They said that Turkish firms take important positions in the Libyan market. Turkish stands at the exhibition have different ranges of products from cheese to agricultural irrigation systems.

Abu Harruba told AA that they found Turkish companies attendance important in terms of uplifting and improvement of the agriculture and food industry in Libya and invited all subject-related Turkish companies to invest in Libya.

Libyan minister stressed, “We need experienced businessmen and workforce that use high technology. We are looking forward to welcoming Turkish investments. There is a high investment potential in Libya.

Libyan International Agriculture and Marine Fishery Exhibition ends on May 10.


British Official Strengthens Ties During Visit to Libya


At the conclusion of his second visit to Libya in six months this week, described as “successful”, Britain’s minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said that the UK looks forward to elections to a National Congress in Libya this summer that will offer the Libyan people the first chance in a generation to choose their leaders.

Mr Burt met Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdarrahim el-Keeb, the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice and Communications and the UN Special Representative Ian Martin.

He also visited the newly re-opened Visa Application Centre in Tripoli and met and ran with some of the Libyan Olympic and Paralympic athletes who will be competing in London this summer. In his discussions with El-Keeb and others members of the Libyan interim government, Minister Burt emphasised the importance of these elections being held on time.

In a press release, the UK government said that it is contributing £ 1,5m donation to the UN Electoral Assistance Programme that will help UNDP provide a comprehensive programme of advice and technical assistance to the Libyan Election Commission, and is funding a programme to support Libyan domestic election observers.

This comes on top of substantial assistance that the UK is already providing, including support to civil society, public security, prison reform,and the clearance of landmines.

Mr Burt discussed with Mr El-Keeb and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and the Interior the strength of the Libya – UK bilateral relationship and areas where they could further build cooperation, including health, education and training.

He also raised the importance of making progress on the investigations into the killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher and Lockerbie, and of taking forward reconciliation with communities affected by terrorism sponsored by the Gaddafi regime – all of which are priorities for the UK Government.

During his visit the UK minister also emphasised the importance of protecting human rights in Libya – ensuring a clear break with the past – and continued engagement and cooperation with the ICC.

Underlying the UK’s continuing commitment to a democratic, prosperous and united Libya he confirmed to the Libyan Foreign Minister the UK’s intent to maintain a “British Embassy Office in Benghazi”.

Minister Burt visited the recently opened Visa Application Centre in Tripoli and confirmed that, from May 1, British Airways will resume direct flights between London and Tripoli.

On meeting the Libyan Paralympic team he welcomed the inspirational example of those who were left disabled by the conflict but continued to show how much they could achieve for themselves and their country.

He emphasised that the UK was a centre of excellence for helping to rehabilitate wounded soldiers through sport and invited the Libyan Paralympic Committee to visit UK facilities whilst they were in London for the Olympics to share ideas on how the Libyan Olympic family might be able to provide further help to those injured during the revolution.

Business Delegation Sees Vast Opportunities to Strengthen US-Libya Economic Ties


A delegation made up of 37 members of the US-Libya Business Association (USLBA) is currently in Libya for a five-day trade and investment delegation visit. It includes the representatives of 20 US companies and organisations.

The companies represented include, A-T Solutions, BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, ConocoPhillips Libya Waha, LTD, Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, FARMCO (Valmont Irrigation), Hess Corporation, Hill International, General Electric, the Institute of International Education, Marathon Oil Corporation, Motorola Solutions, NSI – Nasa Services International, Parsons, RMA Global Fleet Sales, the Sandi Group and WorkingBuildings, LLC.

The group represents a wide range of US industry sectors, including healthcare, education administration, training, energy, construction, logistics, infrastructure, construction support, vehicles and equipment, transportation, public safety, agriculture, public relations and telecommunications. They are in the company of US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez and US Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz.

USLBA Executive Director Chuck Dittrich said that they were very grateful to US Ambassador Gene Cretz and the entire US Embassy team in Libya.

“Ambassador Cretz has been a driving force in involving the US private sector in the rebuilding of Libya. Without his leadership and the dedication of his team, this delegation visit would not have been possible. We are excited to be here and look forward to a very productive week,” Mr Dittrich said.

While in Libya, the delegation is meeting senior Libyan national and local government officials, in Tripoli and Benghazi, including inerim prime minister Abdurrahim El-Keeb.

The USLBA delegation is also participating in events with private business groups from Tripoli, Misurata and Benghazi to discuss national priorities in the rebuilding of the country, and in two major trade shows for the oil and gas and infrastructure industries, which are taking place in Tripoli.

Mr Dittrich said that while much of the press coverage about Libya is focused on the historic political transition to representative government now underway, it ignores the underlying fact that Libya is already in the process of building a new economy focused on the nation’s private sector.

He went on to say: “Among the keys to generating and sustaining private sector growth, job creation and diversifying the economy is putting in place institutions and policies focused on governance, transparency, accountability, rule of law, property rights and access to finance.

“The challenge will be to create government institutions that allow an independent business community to keep growing to create the jobs necessary to move from an economy that is still reliant on public subsidies.”

He added that while this reality must be confronted, there is an energy and a true sense of optimism that day by day, things are moving forward.

USLBA says that with nearly seven million consumers and its strategic position for trade along the Mediterranean coastline, Libya has the potential to become an important economic partner for US companies.

In the short term, in addition to the energy sector, the country offers opportunities for companies in the vocational training, healthcare and infrastructure sectors, and in the long term, opportunities in tourism development, financial services and banking, construction, agriculture and the digital economy.

Mr Dittrich said: “Among all of those with whom we’ve had an opportunity to meet here in Libya, we’ve found that American technology, entrepreneurship and creativity are met with a warm welcome.

“Long-term partnerships and collaborative new ventures, especially among emerging young business leaders in Libya are being formed, and we see vast opportunities to strengthen US-Libya economic ties now and in the future.”

Source : libyaninvestment

Signature of agreement in Washington for promoting trade and investment


Tripoli chamber of trade signed with the joint American Arabian chamber of trade an agreement in Washington for promoting trade and investment. The chairman of Tripoli chamber of trade, industry and agriculture stated that the understanding memo aims to promote the joint trade and investment between Libya and America and to activate the signed agreements; and added that we contribute in a new stage of real cooperation for inaugurating a joint Libyan American council for businessmen to assist in promoting trade and investment between both countries.

President and executive manager of the joint American Arabian chamber of trade said that the signature of the understanding memo is a historical event and will lead to more economic cooperation and he added that signature of this agreement proves official partnership between the two chambers of trade which was established on friendship, joint values and exchanged respect.

Source :libyaninvestment

QNB eyes Libya expansion with 49% BCD stake


The QNB Group has acquired a 49% stake in the Bank of Commerce and Development (BCD), one of the leading private banks in Libya.

The announcement was made during the extraordinary general assembly of the BCD which was held in Benghazi, Libya on Thursday. It approved the QNB Group as a strategic partner, according to the memorandum of agreement between the two institutions.

However, QNB was silent on the value of the deal

The QNB Group – which will be represented in the Libyan bank’s board with a percentage equal to its shareholding as per the agreement – will provide administrative and technical services for the operations of the Libyan lender

This will strengthen the technical and administrative capabilities of the bank in addition to harmonising objectives, policies and procedures of both the banks’ operations and standardising risk management strategy for the benefit of the two institutions.

Ali Shareef al-Emadi, QNB Group CEO, said the partnership came in line with its strategic plan of international expansion in selected promising markets. “The group looks forward to increasing fields in the Libyan market which is anticipated to record healthy growth rates, paving the way for a wide range of banking services in partnership with the BCD,” a QNB spokesman said.

Jamal Abdelmalek, chairman of BCD, said this agreement will result in an increase in the bank’s capital, which will support its financial position and its ability to expand in the Libyan market.

It will also allow the bank to benefit from the expertise of the QNB Group as one of the largest and most important banks in the Middle East and North Africa region, he said.

The Libyan bank was established in 1995 and has a network of 32 branches supported by 82 ATMs, with nearly 820 staff. Its total assets are valued at $ 2bn.

QNB Group will offer its international expertise and specialised services through its Luxembourg-based QNB International Holdings; QNB Capital, registered in the Qatar Financial Centre; QNB Banque Privée; and QNB Financial Services.

Source : gulfinthemedia

UAE firms look to capitalise on emerging opportunities in Libya


An increasing number of UAE firms, especially from the construction, power, oil & gas, investment, engineering, healthcare, logistics and banking sectors, are set to capitalise on the emerging opportunities in Libya, according to Arabian Reach.

According to the Dubai-based exhibitions and events management company, which is organising the Libya Infrastructure & Rebuild Conference, the UAE is playing an active role in supporting Libya on political, military, security and humanitarian grounds while also offering technical support.

It says that the upcoming event will provide a major showcase of various industry expertise reflecting the importance of the vital sectors to Libya’s economy by bringing together, production, service and supply companies, in addition to some of the world’s leading technology companies. Visitors to the event will include senior Libyan Government officials and private sector planners, procurement officials, engineers of all disciplines, global specialist contractors, consultants and trading agents, providing the essential contacts necessary for the participating companies to secure a part in Libya’s economic development programme.

Raj Menon, General Manager of Arabian Reach, said, “The Libya Infrastructure & Rebuild Conference is an excellent opportunity to get a comprehensive understanding of the ongoing and future infrastructure development projects in Libya, and also the various government and private sector investment opportunities. It was a challenging period for the people of Libya over the past year, but things are certainly looking up now and the country is slowly but steadily getting back on the track to progress. The UAE is keen on playing a major part in the development of Libya, and this conference and exhibition will create the perfect platform to further strengthen UAE-Libya trade and economic relations.”

Over 150 delegates from Canada, China, Germany, Egypt, Italy, UAE, UK, GCC, Middle East, USA and other countries, will be participating in the two-day event, aiming to demonstrate their commitment to the Libyan market and create and strengthen their trading links with Libya’s public and private sector business communities.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry has extended its support and endorsement to the Libya Infrastructure & Rebuild Conference, which is regarded as an event that will open new markets for UAE traders, manufacturers and services establishments in Libya, considered a gateway to the North and West African countries.


Economic future for Libya brighter than in Tunisia, Egypt


As the Libyan rebels continue to mop up resistance inside Tripoli and extend the nominal authority of the Transitional National Council to the rest of Libya, it is important to remember that the establishment of a new Libya will take time and face challenges even greater than those required to topple Muammar Qaddafi.

Although these are immense challenges, Col. Qaddafi’s ouster is a novel opportunity for the creation of an accountable government armed with the tools for rapid economic development in the heart of North Africa.

Despite its near total lack of a private sector and endemic levels of corruption and bureaucratic dysfunction, Libya’s prospects for sustainable economic growth should be brighter than that of its revolutionary neighbors, Egypt and Tunisia. That’s because of Libya’s immense resource wealth, small population, and ability to attract foreign investment and expertise.

To best secure the future of the Libyan state, it is imperative that the Transitional National Council uphold the transparent and comprehensive institutional framework recently outlined by the council’s interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril. This concrete and methodical “road map” for the formation of a post-Qaddafi government rightly delineates the procedure for elections based on the convocation of a National Congress composed of members of all regions of Libya. The congress would draft a constitution for a nationwide referendum under the supervision of the United Nations.


BP looking forward to return to Libya


British energy giant BP said that it would seek to return to Libya to continue its exploration programme “when conditions allow” as Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi faces imminent defeat.

“We intend to resume our activities and return to the country when conditions allow,” a BP spokesman told AFP.

The London-listed oil giant evacuated its expatriate staff in February when a popular revolt broke out against strongman Kadhafi.

BP’s Libyan operations are still in the early stages of development so the company did not have much infrastructure there.

The spokesman added that BP had been about to start drilling in the desert in the Ghadames basi and it was keeping in contact with its 100 local staff who remain in Libya.

A 2007 accord with Tripoli allowed BP to drill in the Mediterranean’s Gulf of Sirte at depths of around 1,700 metres (5,500 feet) and at the onshore site near Ghadames.

The deal faced criticism in the United States, with suspicions that BP lobbied for the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, to push through the agreement.

Libyan Megrahi is the only person ever convicted of blowing up a US airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people, mostly Americans.


Libya: fourth largest oil producer in Africa


TRIPOLI – Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is the fourth largest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria, Algeria and Angola, with nearly 1.8 million barrels per day and has reserves estimated at 42 billion barrels.

On arrival in power of Colonel Gaddafi in 1969, oil companies, mainly American, extracted from Libyan soil more than 2 million barrels per day. But soon, the Libyan leader nationalized the oil production limit, and creates the National Oil Company (NOC) which will be joint ventures with minority foreign companies.

After twenty years of shelving, Libya has seen an influx all the Western oil companies eager to compete in gross auction.

In the field of hydrocarbons, some forty foreign operators around the world have participated in four rounds of bidding to award exploration fields. The objective is to increase the production of nearly 1.8 million bpd today to 3 million bpd in 2013 for investments of about $ 30 billion.

According to the U.S. Agency for Energy Information (EIA), Libya in 2009 was the fourth largest oil producer in Africa with a production of 1.789 million barrels per day, behind Nigeria (2.211 million bpd), Algeria (2.125 mbd) and Angola (1.948 million bpd).

Libya exports most of its oil to European countries, including Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Libya also wants to expand its production of natural gas proven reserves are estimated at 1,540 billion m3, according to OPEC.

The country has almost doubled its exports of natural gas in three years, 5.4 billion m3 in 2005 to over 10 billion m3 of natural gas per year, according to figures from OPEC.

Source :

Libya Infrastructure Report 2011 : the most active


Libya’s construction sector is fast becoming one of the most active in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with outstanding growth recorded in 2009. Historic growth levels combined with substantial infrastructure investment plans have guided an upward revision in our growth outlook for Libya’s construction sector over the short term, with real growth of 8.5% and 7.9% expected in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

There are a number of factors driving our optimistic outlook for Libya’s construction sector:

– Construction industry real growth for 2009 was reported at 9% year-on-year (y-o-y), making it one of the best performing countries globally, despite a difficult backdrop in terms of risk aversion and reduced oil revenues. Nominal growth came in at 26% y-o-y, however, this is cause for some concern, indicating high inflation levels in the construction sector.

– Substantial investment plans have been announced for the housing and infrastructure sectors, with a US$100bn, four-year (2009-2012) investment plan currently being executed. In June 2010, this was further increased by US$52bn, meaning a considerable amount of money will be directed to the construction sector.

– A healthy budget surplus is propping up investment plans, making them easily feasible. In 2010, BMI estimates that Libya’s budget surplus was 14.7% of GDP, and will remain in the double digits in both 2011 and 2012 (11.9% and 10.3% respectively). This is enabling the government to procure large-scale and capital-intensive construction projects.

– Demand stemming from a young and increasingly rich population is putting pressure on existing infrastructure. Economic growth is also demanding improved transport networks and access to electricity, both of which are crucial if the government wants to diversify away from the hydrocarbons sector into tourism and industrial production. The government is hoping to position Libya as the gateway to Africa, meaning improved transport networks are a priority.

– The presence of a number of international construction companies gives further credence to Libya’s plans, and the timely execution of projects. Austria’s Strabag, Brazil’s Odebrecht, Egypt’s Arab Contractors and Canada’s SNC-Lavalin are just a few of the companies already active in the country, and therefore likely to benefit from further contract opportunities.

A combination of the above factors is driving our optimism for Libya’s construction sector, with 2011 and 2012 expected to present the strongest growth owing to the four year investment plan running to 2012. Beyond this, between 2013 and 2020, growth is expected to slow, although it will remain strong, with annual average real growth of 5.5%. However, there is upside potential to this as another investment plan will likely follow the current one.

Despite this optimistic outlook, there are a number of risks for investors, stemming predominantly from the business environment.

The major barrier to growth is related to Libya’s business environment, which is unpredictable and desperately in need of reform. Libya scores 45.7 out of 100 for risks in BMI’s infrastructure business environment; however a rewards score of 53.2 reflects the opportunities on offer for the brave investor.

Since the lifting of UN sanctions in 2003, investor interest in Libya has increased and the government has been actively pursuing international private investment. However, although the government offers stability and security to an investor, arbitrary decision making and a lack of transparency in investment laws could derail growth potential. The country is ranked the worst in North Africa according to Transparency International’s 2010 Corruptions Perception Index (coming in at 146 out of 178 states rated), while the World Economic Forum placed the country 100 out of 139 economies in terms of competitiveness.

Recent moves to liberalise the economy show the government is moving in the right direction; however, we believe that progress will be slow and the business environment will remain the primary risk to our forecast.

Source :

The Energy Intelligence ranks NOC 25 among the world’s Top 100 companies

16/ 02/2011

The Energy Intelligence (which is a publishing organization that issues a number of specialized international petroleum publications) the most important of which is Oil Daily that has been published since 1951 and petroleum intelligence weekly that has been published since 1961. This organization works to organize a series of conventions for petroleum and finance since 1975. It has ranked the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) 25 among the world’s Top 100 Oil Companies in its annual classification.

The Energy Intelligence Organization indicated that the Top 100 companies are the most important energy companies in the world and control 87% of world petroleum production, 85% of reserves, 87% of products sales and 74% of refining capacity.

This special classification, according to the a release by the publisher, because of the prominent role played by the National Oil Corporation in the international petroleum industry.

It should be remembered that in 2006 the National Oil Corporation was chosen by Petroleum Economist Magazine as one of the Top 5 Energy Companies for the award of Energy Company of the year as a result of the contracting agreements that it had signed with 38 international companies for exploration and production sharing agreements (EPSA 4).

In the year of 2007, NOC was chosen as one of the Top 5 Energy Companies for the awards of youth education program.

In 2010 NOC was able, to obtain the award of quality of perfection and ideal performance.

Source :

Libya’s wheat imports seen at 1.3 mln T in 2011


Libya expects its wheat harvest to rise 50 percent this year to 300,000 tonnes, which would put its expected imports of the commodity at 1.3 million tonnes, the country’s top cereals official said in a Reuters interview.

From 200,000 tonnes harvested in the previous 2010 campaign, the gas and oil exporter plans to raise its domestic wheat production to 600,000 tonnes by 2015, said Ali Arhouma who heads Libya’s Grain Production Authority.

This would be achieved once a massive canal — channelling water from aquifers in the desert — adds 90,000 hectares to the country’s wheat-planted areas and with the help of heavy subsidies from the state to farmers, Arhouma said.

To ensure food security, the Libyan government has set up a company dedicated to investment in agricultural projects abroad.

“There are attempts to plant wheat in Ukraine, Turkey, Argentina and Brazil,” Arhouma added.

Source :

First Marriott International Hotel in Libya


Marriott InternationalInc., is to open its first hotel in Libya, the JW Marriott Hotel in Tripoli. Perched on the shores of the Mediterranean, the 5-star hotel features 370 guest rooms and suites, stylish lounges and restaurants, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and the delights of the Saray Spa.

All rooms and suites are equipped with luxurious JW Revive bedding, cable TV, high speed internet, mini bar, safe and an en-suite bathroom with luxurious soaking tub and separate shower.

The hotel’s specialty restaurants offer the finest indoor and al fresco dining options.

Safara restaurant serves the diverse tastes from around the Mediterranean in a chic environment. With its charcoal grill, wood-fired oven, griddle and spit-roast, it conjures the atmosphere of a vibrant spice market.

In contrast, the Riviera captures the serenity of a seaside villa in Southern France. Delicious Provencal dishes are served in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, with light and airy rooms and a focus on seafood.

Hovering above the city, Singapura serves traditional pan-Asian cuisines within modern surroundings. The vast organic spaces combine mixed timber flooring and natural stonewalls with lively flashes of magenta and lime, creating a truly inspiring dining experience above the city of Tripoli.

From an intimate board meeting to a global conference, the impressive ballroom caters to all occasions. The 1200 square meter room can be divided into four sections, allowing a flexible approach to the space. Further event space includes three meeting and three conference rooms, suitable for every kind of occasion.

Made for the modern traveller, the sleek design of the Saray Spa and Health Club seamlessly blends sweeping curves with bold straight lines. For total reinvigoration, the Health Club features a fully equipped fitness centre, sauna, Jacuzzi and 23-metre lap pool area complemented by the delightful clarity of the Saray Spa with its tempting menu of Middle Eastern treatments and therapies.

The JW Marriott Hotel Tripoli will open its doors on February 15, 2011


Abu Dhabi Invest AD launches Libya fund to tap high growth


Abu Dhabi financial services company Invest AD has launched a fund to invest in Libya, one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. Invest AD has already committed its own capital to the fund, which will invest in Libya’s $2.2bn stock market, as well as participating in initial public offerings (IPOs) and taking pre-IPO stakes in companies.

“Libya has taken positive steps to open its economy and is reaping the rewards, with very high rates of economic growth,” said Invest AD Chief Executive Officer Nazem Fawwaz Al Kudsi.

“We’re glad to be there at an early stage of this process, and are very much long-term investors. This fund will contribute capital to some of the country’s most promising businesses to help them grow for years to come.”

The Libyan economy benefits greatly from oil but has room to increase production. At 1.79 million barrels per day, the country is Africa’s fourth biggest producer, while it has the continent’s biggest proven reserves. New industries such as petrochemicals, iron and steel, and manufacturing are growing fast.

Libya’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at a rate of about 7.7% annually over the next four years, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with government spending on infrastructure likely to have a strong knock-on effect on the wider economy.

Libya’s stock market, launched in 2007, has grown to 25 listed companies and over 10 IPOs are in the pipeline.

Invest AD, owned by the Abu Dhabi government, has launched several funds to invest in frontier markets.

Its two flagship strategies – for emerging Africa and the Arabian Gulf – both gave total returns of just under 20% in 2010 to rank at the very top of their categories. Invest AD’s Iraq opportunity fund gave a return of just over 10% from its launch in early October 2010 to the end of the year.

“We are very bullish on frontier markets, which have lagged the global markets recovery in the last couple of years, but display some of the highest rates of economic growth in the world,” said Mohammed Al Hashemi, head of Invest AD Asset Management.

The MSCI Frontier Markets Index has gained just over 25% since mid-2010, but is still around 35% below its level at the beginning of 2008. Meanwhile, the MSCI World index is about 9% below its January 2008 levels, and the MSCI Emerging Markets index has fully bounced back.

Invest AD’s Libya fund aims to take advantage of the country’s ongoing economic liberalization, and greater integration into global markets.

As with many frontier markets, the banking sector is strongly represented on Libya’s stock market and offers investors the prospect of strong growth. Libya’s banks, which trade at around six times earnings, are giving a 20% return on equity, with loan growth expected to rise sharply in coming years as the economy diversifies.


Libya to build first wind power project

17/ 01/2011

Libya is about to join the wind energy club with the construction of a 61.75 MW wind farm at Al-Fetaih, near Dernah on the north east coast.

It was started in Darna city the execution of wind farm Alfateh Project for exploiting the wind power as the first project for developing the renewable energy in Libya. The wind farm project consists of wind turbines for producing electricity by wind energy power of 60 Megawatt, control equipments, electric transformers, operation and maintenance building, electric lines, service roads, control rooms and workshops.

The wind farm is executed by the Spanish Amtors Company, it will take period of 20 months and it aims at using various resources of energy in Libya in addition to contribute in covering part of electricity demand and in the sustainable development.

The cost of the project is about (180) million L.D. Better late than never as Libya hopes to reach its goal of generating 10% of renewable energy by 2020, while currently at less than 1%.

Mohamed Ekhlat, from the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya (REAOL), said at the MENASOL conference held in Cairo from May 4-5 that Libya recognized the importance of renewable energy for the country although it was one of the largest oil producers on the African continent.

He said that by 2015, Libya anticipated having several wind farms generating around 500 MW with its overall target to produce 1,000 MW of wind energy by 2020.

Such projects include wind farms in Dernah (120 MW in two stages); Al Maqrun (240 MW in two stages); western region wind farms at Meslata, Tarhuna, and Asabap (250 MW); southeastern region wind farms at Gallo, Almasarra, Alkofra, Tazrbo (120 MW); and southwestern region wind farms at Aliofra, Sabha, Gatt, and Ashwairef (120 MW).

In addition, Libya is getting ready to select a manufacturer for Photovoltaic plants that will be located in three locations with each location producing 15 MW of power each.

Ekhlat said that Libya is working to expand PV technology to remote areas. The North African country is also looking into adding 1,000 PV rooftop systems for residential areas with a feasibility study for a Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant reportedly underway.


Turkish Oil Company Makes Remarkable Exploration Success in Libya

12 /12/ 2011

Despite some complaints from foreign oil companies that they were not meeting oil exploration goals in Libya, the Turkish Petroleum Overseas Company (TPOC) achieved has a success story that makes others think again when it comes to making a judgement about amble opportunities that are hidden under the huge sand dunes of Libya.

TPOC succeeded in discovering oil at commercial quantities in the exploration wells drilled in Area 147/3&4, Murzuq basin, Libya.

TPOC, a wholly-owned subsidary of Turkiye Petrolleri A.O. (TPAO), national oil company of Turkey, has been exploring for oil in Libya since 2000. TPOC made its first oil discovery in 2009 in the A1-147/3 exploration drilled in Area 147/3&4, Murzuq basin, Libya.

The year 2010 turned out to be very fruitful for TPOC as the first six exploration wells resulted as new oil discoveries.

TPOC was awarded Area 147/3&4 in the EPSA IV Bid Round II in 2005. It is the 100% interest holder and operator in the concession.

According to Dr. Ahmet Tandircioglu, General Manager of TPOC Libya Branch, out of 11 exploration wells drilled in the concession, oil was tested in the seven wells (A1-, B1-, C1-, D1-, E1-, F1-, I1-147/3).

He added that “TPOC has completed production testing in the wells and the results have been announced by National Oil Corporation (NOC).”

Tandircioglu told The Tripoli Post that the exploration period extended for 1.5 years until June 10, 2012, during which TPOC will acquire new 2D and 3D seismic data in 2011.

He also said that he expected new discoveries to be made in the new exploration wells. “In 2011, we will also be drilling appraisal wells to determine the extent of our discoveries,” he added.

He said that TPOC wants to put the oil discoveries on stream as early as possible.

Dr. Tandircioglu mentioned that Libya has a special importance as far as his mother company is concerned. “Libya is placed at the top of our priority list, therefore, we would like to expand our investment in Libya,” he said.

With its extensive experience and proven exploration success, TPOC does not hide its interest in acquiring new exploration acreage in Libya.

Tandircioglu said if new opportunities arise for getting new concessions, TPOC will defiantly seize them he and promised that his company would make a difference by creating an adding value for Libyan upstream oil industry.

Source :

IATA to open office in Libya


Libya and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday signed an agreement in Tripoli to open an office in the Libyan capital.

According to a press release, the agreement is within the framework of the consolidation of cooperation between Libya and other international organizations and aims at enabling the development of technology in air transport and finding direct communication channels with IATA.

The goal of the agreement is to promote the industry and air transport in Libya, facilitate the financial and administrative arrangements through a programme to regulate attributions and a system to regulate the accounts of air freight.

The agreement also stipulates that Libya will obtain judicial, financial and technical consultations and advice related to the industry of air transport, as well as coordination of opportunities for the training and strengthening of capacities for the staff of airlines, as well as for travel and tourism agencies.

The document highlights the implementation of programmes to control the international inspection operations in the domain of security and safety in accordance with the demands of the international and local organizations implemented by IATA.


First Gulf Bank opens new branch of First Gulf Libyan Bank in Tripoli

30/12/ 2010

First Gulf Bank (FGB) recently celebrated the opening of its newest branch of First Gulf Libyan Bank (FGLB) at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli.

FGLB was established as part of a strategic partnership between FGB and the Libyan Government Economic and Social Development Fund (ESDF). FGLB has authorized capital of approximately $400m, which was put forward by both FGB and the ESDF equally. The paid up capital for the FGLB is $200m, which makes it one of the largest banks currently operating in Libya.

The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. Hamed El Houderi, General Manager of ESDF and Chairman of FGLB; Mr. Abdulhamid Saeed, the Managing Director and the Vice Chairman of FGLB; and Mr. Abdelrazek Elhoush, the General Manager of the FGLB.

Mr. Abdulhamid Saeed remarked at the opening, stating that, “This is a momentous occasion for First Gulf Bank. This new branch is in line with our greater strategy to expand our services and offerings geographically. With our new branch in Tripoli, we know that we will be able to positively impact upon the development of the Libyan Financial Market and the greater economy. We also are committed to providing a host of innovative financial services to our customers.”

Commenting at the opening, Mr. Abdelrazek Elhoushsaid, “The branch which we have opened here at the Rixos hotel is the first branch which we have opened outside of the First Gulf Libyan Bank Headquarters in Tripoli.”

He added, “This is just the beginning, we are actively looking at other locations where we can open branches in the city of Tripoli. Outside the capital we are looking to open branches in Benghazi and Misurata. In the near future, we hope that we will be able to provide a full banking service to our customers in Libya.”


Libya says may allocate 60,000 hectares of field for Turkish investors

29 /12/ 2010

The two officials also agreed to make intensive cooperation in commerce and agriculture.

Turkish Agriculture & Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker met with Libya’s Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Agriculture & Maritime & Animal Resources Abu Bakr Mabruk al-Mansuri in Libya on Tuesday.

The ministry stated that Eker and al-Mansuri had a common will to increase bilateral relations to the highest level in agricultural cooperation and investment issues.

The two officials also agreed to make intensive cooperation in commerce and agriculture.

During the meetings between Turkish and Libyan delegations, Eker said that it was necessary to examine agriculture and investment opportunities of Libya in a detailed way, adding that it was important for Turkish investors to know what kind of incentives and opportunities Libya presented.

Libyan officials said that they could allocate 60,000 hectares of field for Turkish investors for production of wheat and corn.

Libya has a potential to be Turkey’s door opening to Africa, and also its volume in food processing sector is very high, Turkish ministry stated.

Eker will also hold meetings with Libya’s Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Public Works Matuq Muhammad Matuq, and Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Economy, Trade, & Investment Muhammad Ali al-Huwayz.

Source :

Al Maskari Holding in $3bn Libya energy plan

27 /12/ 2010

Abu Dhabi’s Al Maskari Holding is behind a US$3 billion (Dh11.01bn) project to build an integrated “energy hub” in Libya and to develop an undersea cable for exporting electricity to Europe.

The project will include solar power and conventional electricity generation from fuels such as natural gas, and a high-voltage undersea transmission line from Libya to southern Italy.

An agreement for the project was signed in Tripoli on December 12, said Sirajeldean Elbadri, an official with the chairman’s office of the Libyan general board of privatisation and investment.

“Libya is a source for clean energy. We can export energy to all of Europe. When Russia does not send gas, we hope we can send this energy to Europe by having cables under the sea from the north of Libya to the south of Europe,” Jamal Ellamushe, the Libyan minister of privatisation and investment, told an investment forum in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Sheikha Aisha al Maskari, the chairwoman of the family-owned Al Maskari Holding, said the group was interested in investing in all sectors of Libya’s energy industry, including solar energy. Al Maskari’s involvement in renewable-energy development includes a 20-year project with the Norwegian government, she said.

The company intends to invest in the energy hub venture in Libya, which is planned to include a large solar element, under the government’s privatisation programme, Dr al Maskari said on the sidelines of the meeting in the capital. She declined to give further details.

“We are concentrating on the solar market in Libya. They have the best solar resources in the world,” Dr al Maskari continued.

“We would also like to be partners in industry in Libya,” she said. “There is a partnership between the public and private sectors there. We have seen the support in Libya, where we have had a factory for 20 years.

“The surprise for me when we visited Libya was the hospitality and the humbleness of the people,” she said of her first visit to the country.

After 10 years working with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in various aspects of petroleum development and management, Dr al Maskari, a geophysicist by training, in 1989 assumed the chair of her family’s company Tricon Energy Operations. She is currently chairwoman of the UAE parent company Tricon Group and the affiliated Al Maskari Holding. The latter group’s operations include oil and gas services, power generation, desalination and water treatment, and environmental consulting.


Libya aims to triple power capacity within 10 years

27 /12/ 2010

Libya wants to triple its power generation capacity within a decade to support what it hopes will be a flood of foreign investment aimed at expanding and diversifying an economy that is heavily dependent on oil and gas exports.

The government’s plan includes increasing installed electrical generation capacity to 20 gigawatts by 2020 from about 6.2gw at present. As well as supplying the domestic market, Libya is aiming to export power to Europe.

Tripoli has also set a target of supplying 10 per cent of its energy consumption from renewable sources, especially solar and wind power.

That is more ambitious than the UAE’s 7 per cent renewable-energy commitment over the same period, but lower than targets set by some Mediterranean Arab neighbours such as Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon.

“The Great Jamahiriya [Libya’s parliament] assigns special interest in the energy sector, acquiring knowledge, as well as increasing the energy efficiency by utilising cutting-edge technology and enhancing rationalisation of energy,” the Libyan privatisation and investment board stated in an investment presentation yesterday in Abu Dhabi.

“Libya seeks to significantly contribute to regional and global programmes in the energy sector, leveraging its well-positioned geographic location [between the] European and African continents.”

In addition, Tripoli would support environmental protection projects, the presentation indicated.

Libya produces most of its electricity by burning oil. This summer, energy officials said the government had launched strategic initiatives aimed at encouraging gas exploration and development, with a view to using gas for most power generation while exporting more oil. However, in the absence of large new gas discoveries, that could leave Libya without surplus gas to continue its current exports of the fuel, mainly by pipeline to Europe.

Tripoli’s new renewable energy strategy may therefore be partly driven by fears that its gas development drive may fail.

On Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell said it was appraising a gas discovery on its concession in Libya’s Sirte basin and would continue drilling.


STRABAG to modernise coastal highway in Libya

23 / 12 /2010

* Rehabilitation of coastal highway between Ras Ejdir and Garaboulli

*Construction of Tripoli Western Access

*Contract value amounts to € 104 million

Vienna, 17 December 2010 A joint venture led by STRABAG, Central and Eastern Europe’s largest construction company, has been awarded a new infrastructure contract in Libya worth € 104 million. It is the fifth large order for STRABAG in the region after the ongoing Tajura infrastructure project as well as the rehabilitation of the airport road in Tripoli.

STRABAG is carrying out the construction in cooperation with a local partner. The works comprise the rehabilitation of the coastal highway between Ras Ejdir and Garaboulli as well as the construction of the Tripoli Western Access. In total, 103 km of dual-carriage and 97 km of single-carriage roadway will be built. Work began in December 2010 and is scheduled for completion in June 2013. STRABAG’s share is 60 % (about € 62 million).

Dr. Hans Peter Haselsteiner, CEO of STRABAG SE, is satisfied with the new order: “I am very pleased that the Libyan client trusts in our know-how and has hired us for another infrastructure project of importance for the region’s development.”

STRABAG won its first large order in Libya, with a total volume of about € 430 million, in 2008. Under that contract, the company is working to modernise the urban infrastructure of Tajura, a suburb of Tripoli, by 2012. Further contracts mainly include the rehabilitation and construction of roads.

STRABAG SE is one of Europe’s leading construction groups. With some 75,500 employees, STRABAG generated a construction output volume of € 13.0 billion in the 2009 financial year. As a result, STRABAG is listed in the Fortune Global 500 list as one the largest companies worldwide. From its core markets of Austria and Germany, STRABAG is present via its numerous subsidiaries in all countries of Eastern and South-East Europe, in selected markets in Western Europe and on the Arabian Peninsula. STRABAG’s activities span the entire construction industry (Building Construction and Civil Engineering, Transportation Infrastructures, Special Foundation Engineering and Tunnelling) and cover the entire value-added chain in the field of construction. More information is available at

Source :

UAE, Libya to set up Dh11bn fund

23/12/ 2010

The UAE and Libya have agreed to set up a joint investment fund with a paid up capital of Dh11 billion to carry out projects in the two Arab countries, a Libyan official was quoted on Thursday as saying.

Jamal Al Lammouchi, General Secretary of the Directive Committee of the General Board of Privatization and Investment, said the fund would be equally shared between the two countries and would take advantage of massive investment opportunities arising from ongoing privatization in Libya.

Quoted by the semi-official daily Al Ittihad, he said Libya is also seeking UAE expertise in managing its new Tripoli airport and is ready to discuss with Dubai World its possible management of ports in the North African Arab nation.

He said the investment fund and other projects were discussed during the recent visit by UAE minister of economy Sultan Al Mansouri to Libya.

“The talks focused on ways to expand our economic links and the agreement to set up that fund was the first major move in this direction,” he said.

“The investment projects to be carried out by that fund would be in both countries according to the needs of each country.”

Lammouchi, who spoke during an investment seminar in Dubai, said 29 Libyan public enterprises to be privatized would be presented to UAE businessmen for investment, covering farming, industry, hospitality, tourism, and transport. He said around 50 per cent of these projects would be sold to the public while the rest would be equally shared by the government and their employees.

Lammouchi also revealed plans by Libya, a key OPEC oil producer, to invest a staggering $200 billion in infrastructure projects, including $100 billion to be spent until 2012. “The second investment programme will start in 2013, making Libya one of the largest investors in infrastructure.”

He said Libya has strong ties with the UAE but added their trade relations are below the available resources.

He urged UAE businessmen to benefit from investment opportunities in Libya, noting that his country aims to attract between $six billion and $12 billion foreign direct investment into real estate, trade, transport, construction and other sectors.


Tripoli seeks to strengthen trade ties with UAE

23/12/ 2010

Dubai: With the aim of promoting of several investment opportunities worth 15 billion Libyan dinars (Dh44 billion), the Libyan government investment authority held its first forum in Dubai yesterday with a loud call for UAE and Gulf investors to invest in the North African country.

“This forum aims to achieve several targets,” said Jamal Ellamushe, minister of Investment and the Privatisation and Investment Board (PIB) in Libya.

“First, boosting mutual relations between businessmen from two countries, and secondly show the investment opportunities available in Libya,” he added in an interview with Gulf News on the sidelines of the forum. Several Libyan businessmen joined him for the forum.

Several projects

Ellamushe presented a lengthy and detailed presentation on several projects in different fields in his country totalling nearly 15 billion Libyan dinars.

They range from developing health, tourism and education sectors to managing air and seaports.

“The projects are ready in terms of studies, locations, feasibility studies and estimates. All that is needed are investors to come and invest,” he said.

“The total amount of these investments that can be implemented at present is 15 billion Libyan [dinars],” Ellamushe added.

Yesterday’s forum is scheduled to be the first in a series in the region.

On Sunday Ellamushe will speak at another forum scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi and he will be joined by more businessmen.

He said there could be as many as 25 members.

The minister said that within the next six months, similar forums will be held in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Libya achieved 8 per cent nominal GDP growth in 2009, official figures show.

Trade volume between the UAE and Libya has reached about $1 billion in recent years, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri was quoted as saying earlier this month.

Strategic partner

“When we speak of trade volume, we are talking about distinguished figures, and the UAE is considered a strategic partner, especially when it comes to the issue of imports to Libya,” the minister said.

“However, direct investments from the UAE are still very limited and don’t match the economic relations between the two countries,” he said.

Both the UAE and Libya are among the main members of Opec.

Atiq Juma Faraj Naseeb, president of the business services sector in the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted in his speech the importance of the African continent and expressed hope that trade relations with Libya and the other African countries would increase.


Libya offers investors more than a slice of cake

23 /12/ 2010

Dubai: When it comes to foreign investments, Libyan Investment Minister Jamal Ellamushe says Libya is not just a cake for investors to share.

Indeed, it is a factory that produces all types of sweets, he said.

The oil-rich North African country until recently adopted socialist economic principles and was hit with harsh economic sanctions for nearly 10 years — from the 1990s until 2003.

Today the country is seeking to promote itself as an emerging hub for investors worldwide.

Its efforts appear to be bearing fruit.

The country has much to offer, including the administration of some of the eight seaports on the nearly 2000km coast.

It also offers an under-construction international airport with a capacity of 20 million passengers a year, the minister said.

Speaking to Gulf News in an exclusive interview in Dubai where he chaired a forum designed to promote investment in Libya, Ellamushe said that since the sanctions were lifted, the “world started looking at Libya as a country with promising investment opportunities.

“Anybody who misses the opportunity of investing in Libya at present is considered a loser from an economic point of view,” he said.

“Libya has the needed raw materials and sufficient human resources, where nearly 65 per cent of its population is under 35 years old, and this makes it a strong, emerging, promising human-power that is capable of building a very strong economy,” Ellamushe said.

Foreign investments in Libya currently stand at nearly 21 billion Libyan dinars, and the investment minister said he preferred not to reveal the target of foreign investments Tripoli was seeking to attract in the near future.

Italy at the top

Italy tops the list of foreign investors, official figures show.

American companies are also among foreign investors in Libyan refineries.

According to Ellamushe, American companies had an investment of nearly $7 billion (Dh26 billion) in one oil refinery and discussions were underway to invest in another $5 billion project, he said.

Libya’s geographic location — connecting three big continents with different sources and needs (Europe, Africa and Asia) — added to the advantages of the country, he said.

“We have also started thinking of the era after the oil runs out within several years from now…. but we have drawn our priorities,” Ellamushe said.

When it came to Libya’s priorities and investment opportunities, the nation currently produced nearly two million of oil barrels a day, he said.

While development of the education and health sectors was high among present priorities, Libya is also seeking to attract more investments in the renewable energy field, he said.

“And the Germans are among the first people waiting the right moment to jump in and invest in that field in Libya,” Ellamushe said.

Libya was spending hundreds of millions of dollars to send Libyan students to pursue their higher education abroad every year as part of a programme to build a qualified, strong human resource base, he said.

In addition, almost one million Libyans are travelling to neighbouring Tun-isia for treatment due to the lack of medical services at home, the minister noted.

Tripoli said earlier this year it had allocated money for a three-year “industrialisation development programme 2010-1013 totalling 3.3 billion Libyan dinars,” Libyan media have reported.

Ellamushe said the country would continue to allocate a significant amount to develop its infrastructure.


“It is a comprehensive development programme that will be implemented in phases.

“Libya has done all it can do in 2009 and 2010 to amend the needed laws,” he said, referring to laws for investments, taxes, labour and trade laws and regulations.

While the investment laws treat both Libyan and foreign investors equally when it comes to rights and responsibilities, the tax law offers a tax and customs holiday to investors for the first five years, the minister said.

Trade regulations ban monopolies.

The size of the Libyan market was another attraction for investors, he added.


Libya Sign LD35M Gas Contracts with Turkish, Spanish Companies

21 /12/ 2010

The Secretary of Public Utilities signed on Thursday two contracts aimed at distributing natural gas in Tripoli and Benghazi.

This first contract won by a Turkish company, Ema, at a total amount of 20 million Libyan dinars.

The company will supply Tripoli with medium pressure gas in four phases that will cover in the end 40 sectors of the city. The period of the contract is one year.

The project will cover 27,000 customer out of an estimated total of 211,000 customers when it reaches the fourth phase.

The second project of 15 million Libyan dinars is to be implemented in Benghazi city by a Spanish company and will take two phases and cover 42,000 customers.

Source :

Turkish projects in Libya amount to $2.6 bln

20 /12/ 2010

Referring to commercial relations between Turkey and Libya, Kaya said bilateral trade volume exceeded 2.2 billion USD.

Sunday, 19 December 2010 13:30

Turkey’s Ambassador in Libya said on Sunday that the projects undertaken by Turkey in Libya amounted to 2.6 billion USD in 2010.

In an exclusive interview with the A.A correspondent, Ambassador Levent Sahin Kaya said , “Libya is important for Turkey particularly with respect to contracting sector.

“Turkish companies have undertaken projects in Libya worth of 14.5 billion USD in the past five years,” he said.

Kaya said there was no important problem between Turkey and Libya regarding payments.

The Ambassador said relations between Turkey and Libya have been developing in every area especially in the recent years.

“Bilateral relations accelerated particularly after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Libya in November 2009. Relations on economy, trade and investment are very strong,” Kaya underlined.

Referring to commercial relations between Turkey and Libya, Kaya said bilateral trade volume exceeded 2.2 billion USD.


Turkish company to construct biggest stadium in North Africa

19 /12/ 2010

The Turkish Renaissance Construction will build the biggest football stadium in North Africa, to be situated in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

The stadium, to be constructed by Renaissance and its Austrian partner, PORR AG, in a joint venture with the Libyan Investment Development Company (LIDCO) is expected be ready for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013.

The 200 million euro project will have a 50,000-person capacity and will be constructed in line with UEFA standards. Moreover, the stadium will have a parking area for 10,000 vehicles and the roof of the stadium will be built on three steel arches rising 100 meters to symbolize the ancient cities of Oea, Leptis Magna and Sabratha.

Kamil Yanıkömeroğlu, chairman of the Renaissance Real Estate Group, said the expected completion date of the stadium is 2013. “However, we have promised Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi’s son Muhammed that we would complete the stadium before Dec.12, 2012, when a friendly match will be played between Libya and Brazil,” Yanıkömeroğlu said. He added that the stadium will be the biggest in North Africa.

Renaissance Construction entered the Libyan market in 2008 and was able to generate $2 million in business volume. “We are planning to double that in two years’ time,” the chairman said.

Source :

Arab Banking Corp acquires stake in Libyan bank

15 /12/ 2010

Arab Banking Corporation (B.S.C.) (“ABC”) has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 49% ownership stake in Mediterranean Bank S.A.L., a Libyan bank headquartered in Benghazi, in the North East of Libya, and with branches in Tripoli and Misurata.

The acquisition, which is subject to final regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Libya, is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2011. ABC will also manage the bank on a day-to-day basis pursuant to a management agreement.

Mediterranean Bank was established in 1997 and operates under the supervision of the Central Bank of Libya. It provides retail and corporate banking services.

The transaction will see ABC inject additional capital of Libyan Dinars 74 million (approx. $60m) into Mediterranean Bank in return for receiving a 49% shareholding in Mediterranean Bank. Following the completion of the transaction, ABC will have the right to appoint three directors (out of a total of seven) to the board of Mediterranean Bank.

ABC currently undertakes a significant level of business relating to Libya, having established the first ever representative office of a foreign bank in Tripoli back in 1988. The acquisition of an equity stake in Mediterranean Bank therefore constitutes a natural extension of ABC’s existing business in North Africa. ABC intends to invest considerable resources in integrating Mediterranean Bank into the ABC network, drawing upon ABC’s North African and international expertise to enable Mediterranean Bank to significantly grow its business over the medium term, within a robust ABC Group risk management framework.

Hassan Ali Juma, President and Chief Executive of ABC, commenting on the transaction said:

“I am delighted that we have agreed to form a strategic partnership with Mediterranean Bank. The acquisition by ABC of a 49% shareholding in Mediterranean Bank represents a unique opportunity to cement the geographic reach of ABC’s existing North African businesses, which already include operations in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, and will provide ABC with access to the increasingly important Libyan banking market. I am confident that Mediterranean Bank will, with the support of the ABC Group, establish itself as one of the leading banks in Libya, as the competitive landscape in Libya evolves as a result of the recent opening of the banking market to foreign capital.”


Turkey, Libya to sign deal on environment

13 /12/ 2010

Turkish Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu met with Libyan Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Health & Environment Muhammad Hijazi.

During the meeting at the Ministry of Environment & Forestry, Eroglu and Hijazi reviewed Turkey-Libya cooperation opportunities in environment and forestry.

Eroglu said that Turkey aimed at further developing its bilateral relations with Libya.

“We are planning to cooperate with Libya in environment, forestry and global climate change,” he added.

Hijazi, on his part, welcomed recent momentum in Turkey-Libya relations.

A cooperation agreement will be signed between Turkey and Libya on Monday.

Source :

Abu Dhabi sells ABC bank stake to Libya

2 /12/2010

Libya acquired a stake in Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth held, Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation(ABC), bringing its stake in Bahrain’s second largest bank to almost 60 percent, the bank said on Thursday.

The bank said in a regulatory filing that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, sold its 17.7 percent stake in ABC to the central bank of Libya for an undisclosed sum.

ABC had assets worth $26bn on its balance sheet at the end of the third quarter.

Libya is seeking to expand its investments in the Gulf’s financial industry. It also owns a stake in Bahrain-based First Energy Bank.


Arig Opening Libya Office


Arig is opening a Representation in Tripoli after receiving the license from the local authorities. The office will attend to Arig’s clients in Libya specifically, paying tribute to the recent development and growth in the market. It will also service nearby countries in the Maghreb. The office will be headed by Salah Al Mabrouk, a Libyan national who has been regular to the region for a number of years.

Arig’s CEO, Yassir Albaharna, stressed: “We are going to Libya in recognition of our current and historically close ties to the market and our clients there. Our relationships date back to the founding days of Arig. They have been tested and proven for 30 years and we intend to make our ties with the growing insurance industry even stronger. We believe we can still be better partners by moving to the doorstep of our clients.”

About Arig

Arig is one of the largest Arab-owned, professional reinsurance providers in the Middle East and North Africa. Arig is listed on the stock exchanges in Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait and offers a wide range of reinsurance products and services. Arig’s subsidiaries include Takaful Re (Dubai), Gulf Warranties (Bahrain) and ARIMA Insurance Software (Bahrain). Arig is also an equal partner in the joint venture Hardy Arig Insurance Management (HAIM). Additional information about Arig can be obtained at

Source :

Libyan-Qatari Joint Venture Breaks Ground on Luxury Development in Libya

21/11/ 2010

Tripoli- Work has begun on Wednesday at The Waterfront, a luxury residential and resort development located near Tripoli along Libya’s Mediterranean coast, announced Al-Libya Al-Qataria (ALAQ), a joint venture between Oyia (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Libya’s Economic and Social Development Fund) and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority).

The Waterfront will be a premium, gated, mixed-use community located in Janzour, a western suburb of the Libyan capital. Central to the project is a five-star resort hotel, the first in Tripoli to offer a waterfront location along with first-class amenities and unsurpassed service.

In addition to the five-star hotel, the 42-hectare development includes serviced residential apartments, luxury villas, and an upscale neighborhood retail village. Additional amenities include beach access to the Mediterranean, extensive walking trails, top-quality fitness and sports facilities, shops, gourmet restaurants, and more.

With nearly 300 rooms and suites, The Waterfront’s resort hotel will be able to accommodate both business travelers and tourists in an atmosphere of comfort and luxury.

Hotel amenities will include a full-service conference facility and business center, a luxury day spa and fitness facility, international-quality tennis courts, an outdoor pool complex, a private beach club, and five world-class seaside restaurants. Spacious, state-of-the-art guest rooms will feature high-tech sound systems, flat-screen high-definition televisions, DVD players, wireless high-speed internet, customized bedding and linens, an ergonomically-designed work area, premium four-fixture bathrooms, and local artwork.

The hotel has been designed so that each guest room offers a sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Equally luxurious will be the serviced residences at The Waterfront.

Custom-designed homes combined with resort-style amenities offer an international-standard lifestyle to community residents. A mix of luxury villas, maisonettes, and apartments will ensure that potential residents can easily find a home customized to their needs. The Waterfront will offer residents the highest level of security; amenities include numerous swimming pools and seaside terraces, lush Mediterranean landscaping, walking trails, an oceanfront beach club, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

The Waterfront retail village will feature a wide array of shops and facilities to meet the needs of daily life, including an upscale neighborhood market, laundry and dry cleaning services, banking facilities, and a number of cafes and restaurants.

Abdul Aziz Al Theyab, Chairman of ALAQ Board of Directors, said, “Libya is one of the fastest-growing business and tourist markets in the region, and international travelers are just beginning to learn about its rich history and vibrant culture. The Waterfront is a truly unique development in a remarkable Mediterranean setting; we are honored to bring a new level of world-class accommodation to Libya in partnership with Oyia and Qatari Diar.”

“The Waterfront will offer an unprecedented level of service and luxury in Libya,” added Wesam Eledrisi, the Vice Chairman of ALAQ’s Board of Directors. “This vision is being achieved with an emphasis on innovation, partnership, and raising the standard of living in the Tripoli area, and the ongoing cooperation and enormous support we’ve received from both the Libyan Jamahiriya and the State of Qatar have been integral in our success.”

Eng. Mohammed bin Ali Al-Hedfa, Group CEO of Qatari Diar, added, “We
are delighted to be breaking ground on The Waterfront, and we consider it an important symbol of the deep friendship between Libya and the State of Qatar. Furthermore, we believe that The Waterfront’s world-class resort and residences have the potential to herald a new era of luxury living for both Libyan residents and the growing number of business and leisure travelers who visit Tripoli.”

Numerous international consultants are providing assistance to the project. The initial phase of The Waterfront is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.


Libya imposes new rules on foreign investors: report

3 /11/ 2010

RABAT (Reuters) – Foreign investors will only be allowed to do business in oil exporter Libya if they form a joint venture with a local partner, local media quoted the Libyan Prime Minister as saying on Wednesday.

Foreign firms rushed into Libya after international sanctions were lifted six years ago, seeking a share of lucrative markets and contracts, but the government has said it wants to develop local business and create jobs for Libyans.

Two Libyan publications quoted Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi as announcing the new rules at a meeting with businesspeople in Tripoli. No officials were immediately available to confirm the report.

“A foreign company will enter into business in Libya only via association with Libyan partners,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by Libya Press news agency and the Quryna newspaper.

The prime minister did not mention if the new measure would apply to the oil sector, the mainstay of the economy where investors include ENI and BP. Most foreign oil firms in Libya are already in partnership with local firms.

Al-Mahmoudi also said red tape would be cut and access to credit would be eased for local businesses, addressing concerns often cited by Libyan businesspeople.

“Access to credit and sources of finance will be opened for up to 50 percent of the value of the project for Libyans launching ventures in manufacturing, education, healthcare, tourism and other productive activities,” he was quoted as saying.

The publications quoted Mahmoudi as saying the government will ease visa and residence rules for foreigners involved in joint ventures with Libyans to help local businesspeople gain access to foreign expertise.

In the past few years Libya has undergone a dramatic shift towards a market approach after four decades of Soviet-style central command economy.

The country has a plan to invest up to $150 billion between 2007 and 2020 to upgrade its infrastructure and diversify its economy, and foreign firms have been keen to win infrastructre and engineering contracts.

Both the publications which reported the prime minister’s comments are part of the Al Ghad media group founded by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The reform-minded Saif al-Islam has an open rivalry with the Libyan prime minister, who analysts say belongs to a more conservative camp.


Libya Sign Education Agreement with New Zealand

25 /10/ 2010

On Monday 18 October, New Zealand’s Education Minister Anne Tolley signed an agreement with Libya’s Secretary for Education and Scientific Research, Dr Abdulkabir Fakhry, making New Zealand one a few countries eligible to receive Libyan government scholarship students.

The agreement outlined the basis for New Zealand’s engagement with Libya over the next five years in the educational and scientific fields in both compulsory and tertiary education sectors.

Mrs Tolley said many New Zealand education providers saw big potential in increasing engagement with Libya. Conservative estimates were that New Zealand stood to get over 300 students a year in fully-funded scholarships worth up to $30m, she said.

“Libya is an emerging education market for New Zealand.

It is a nation coming out of a period of international isolation and ready to re-engage with countries like ours,” Said Tolley as quoted by NZPA.

The agreement was the first government-to-government memorandum between the two countries and gave the opportunity for collaboration in joint research projects, joint academic programs and student and faculty exchanges.


TPAO in Libya: Initial results are promising

05 /10/ 2010

“We are confident that we can make a difference”

The Turkish Petroleum Overseas Company (TPOC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), says it has recently started to see the fruitful results of the aggressive exploration work it has conducted in Libya since 2000.

TPAO is one of several operators taking part in the annual North Africa Oil & Gas Summit in Vienna from 2-4 November this year.  OPEC Secretary General H.E. Abdalla S. El-Badri will deliver a keynote address to the many top decision makers from Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania who will be present at the fifth annual summit which is regarded as the industry’s leading initiative to facilitate easy access to the North African oil and gas industry.

“We are confident that we can make a difference”

The general manager of TPOC Libya, Dr. Ahmet Tandircioglu, says “the exploration wells drilled in Area 147/3-4 resulted as new oil discoveries which we plan to put on stream in the earliest time. Production testing operations currently continue and the initial results are promising.”  He says he believes that there is still significant exploration potential in Libya for companies with a good understanding of petroleum geology of Libya and ready “to test new play concepts”. “As TPOC”,   Dr. Tandircioglu continues, “we are interested in new exploration areas in Libya and we are confident that we can make a difference and create adding value for Libyan upstream industry.”

The chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation, H.E. Dr Shokri Ghanem, will also be speaking at the North Africa Oil & Gas Summit.

More confirmed high-level speakers and industry experts for North Africa Oil & Gas Summit include:

  • H.E. Eng. Sameh Fahmy, Minister of Petroleum, Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Khaled Becheikh, President & CEO, ETAP (Entreprise Tunisienne D’Activités Petrolières)
  • Jaap Huijskes, Member of the Executive Board, Head of E&P, OMV Aktiengesellschaft
  • Guido Michelotti, Executive Vice President North Africa and Middle East Region, Eni E&P Division
  • Ferdinando Rigardo, Regional Executive Director Europe, Asia & Africa, Upstream, REPSOL
  • Mehmet Uysal, President and CEO, TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation)
  • ·Rt.Hon.Lord Howell of Guildford, Minister of State at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Jean-Francois Arrighi de Casanova,Senior Vice President North Africa E&P, TOTAL SA
  • Trevor Morgan, Senior Economist, International Energy Agency (IEA)

Event website:

Event dates and location: 2-4 November 2010 – Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen, Vienna


EU Enlargement Commissioner visits Libya to strengthen cooperation

04 /10/ 2010

Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, and Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs, travel to Libya on 4-6 October where they will meet representatives of the Libyan government to discuss the state of bilateral relations, two years after the start of negotiations on an EU-Libya Framework Agreement.

Global Arab Network has received a press release from the European Commission saying particular attention would be paid to advancing co-operation on migration issues, particularly improving the protection of refugees, but also border control, co-operation with countries of origin etc.

Libya has the status of observer in the Euro-Mediterranean-Partnership and is also eligible to benefit from assistance under the European Neighbourhood Policy instrument.

Before leaving for Tripoli, Commissioner Füle said: “Over the past three years, relations between the EU and Libya have developed well. We share important common interests in areas such as trade, energy and the security and development of Africa.”

The visit of Commissioners Malmström and Füle is intended to conclude the process of negotiations with Libya on an ambitious and multi-dimensional ‘cooperation agenda’, covering all aspects related to migration.

In November 2008 the Commission and Libya launched negotiations for an EU-Libya Framework Agreement providing for political dialogue and cooperation on foreign policy and security issues; for a free trade area as deep and comprehensive as possible; and for cooperation in key areas of common concern such as energy, transport, migration, visa, justice and home affairs, environment and other topics like maritime policy and fisheries, education and health. Negotiations are making good progress, the press release said.

In the context of the development of relations with Libya, the Commission and Libya agreed in June 2010 on a Memorandum of Understanding providing for EU technical assistance and cooperation for the period from 2011 to 2013. This programme will focus on three priorities:

* improving the quality of human capital, in particular supporting health reform,
* increasing the sustainability of economic and social development, in particular supporting trade reform and the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
* addressing jointly the challenge of managing migration.

To support the expanding list of bilateral activities, the Commission has also decided to open an Office in Tripoli. This Office, which should become operational in early 2011, should remain under the authority of the EU Delegation in Tunis.

Source :

Chairman of the Board of National Oil Corporation Meets New and Outgoing Directors of Turkish Oil Co. Libya Branch

29 /09 /2010

The Chairman of the Board of the National Oil Corporation met in Tripoli on Tuesday the new and the outgoing directors of the Turkish Oil Company Libya Branch.
Issues related to the company’s work and cooperation with the cooperation were discussed during the meeting.
The Turkish Oil Company had made six oil discoveries in concession 3/141. The NOC has 92.1% while the Turkish company has 7.9% of the project.


BMI to start flights to Libya in December

25 /09/ 2010

UK airline BMI is to launch a daily service from London to Tripoli from 1 December 2010, it said yesterday, in a possible sign of thawing UK/Libyan relations

Until now British Airways was the only UK airline to operate a route to Libya, with flights to Tripoli beginning in1999.

BMI will operate flights from?Heathrow with the first seats available to book from today.

Libya is keen to expand its tourism market as the country attempts to rehabilitate its international reputation following the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, which killed all 243 passengers.

However, relations have been strained over the last year following the release by the Scottish government of the only man ever convicted of the bombing, Abdelbaset al Megrahi, on compassionate grounds.

Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, chief executive of BMI, said business customers would benefit from “even more choice between the UK and Libya” with domestic and long haul connections via Heathrow.
Prices from London Heathrow to Tripoli start from £265 return.


Turkey boosts Libya infrastructure investment

21/09/ 2010

Turkey will invest 35 billion euros in Libya’s infrastructure over the next 10 years, Istanbul-based
World Bulletin reported on Sunday (September 19th). “We came to Libya as contractors first.

Now, we are trying to bring Turkish retailers to the country,” Erman Ilicak of Turkey’s Ronesans Holding
said Sunday during a visit to the construction site of a Tripoli shopping mall.


Libya expects waves of US tourists in October


A group of US travel and tourist companies and agencies will in October hold their first tourist trip to Libya for the season 2010-2011 under the theme: ‘Libya, the sand of times’.
The Libyan daily, Oya, said Monday on its electronic site, that the 16-day trip would feature visits to the Roman sites of Sabratha (80 km west of Tripoli) and Leptis (120 km east of Tripoli), as well as the old city of Ghadames, an oasis in the middle of the desert, located in the western part of the country along the borders with Algeria.

According to Oya, a large number of directors of travel companies and agencies in the US were convinced that tourism in Libya would attract a large American audience, especially since all restrictions imposed by the Libyan government on the issuance of visas were lifted after a framework agreement on trade and investment was signed between Tripoli and Washington.

The Libyan archaeological and tourist sites are usually used in advertising campaigns, including sites classified by UNESCO as world heritage, such as Sabratha, Leptis Shahat, the rock carvings of the pre-historic archaeological site of Tadr art Acacus and the old town site of Gadhamés.

The tourist season begins in Libya in September and ends in June each year and the number of tourist groups decline from the beginning of the summer season because of the scorching heat.

Statistics showed that the tourist season in Libya is at its peak in December for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and in April for the Easter holidays.

The tourism sector in the country was recently boosted with the inauguration of 27 hotels and tourist sites, while 28 tourist service companies, 26 travel and tourist agencies and 69 tourism companies have been allowed to operate in the sector.

Another 57 facilities have also been approved as tourist institutions, while 389 others are still awaiting accreditation from Libyan tourism authorities.

The tourist accommodation facilities was recently increased to 298 hotels and tourist villages across the country, while the offices of tourism services currently operating are 373 tourism companies, 477 tourism cooperative and 88 travel and tourism agencies.

Expectations are high for this tourist season, informed by the comparison between the bookings in hotels and various tourist facilities and those of the last season, which suffered the global financial crisis and the spread of swine flu around the world.


Turkish firm says to bring retailers to Libya soon

20 /09/ 2010

The chairperson of a leading Turkish holding said on Sunday that his company would soon bring Turkish retailers to Libya.

Chairperson Erman Ilicak of Turkey’s Ronesans Holding briefed a group of Turkish reporters on his company’s projects in Libya during a visit to the construction site of a shopping mall in Tripoli on Sunday.

Ilicak said Ronesans Holding had a partnership with the state-run Libyan Investment and Development Corporation “Lidco” and it had undertaken several projects in 6 Libyan cities worth nearly 2 billion USD.

Describing Libya as one of the biggest markets for Turkish contractors, Ilicak said almost 200 Turkish firms operated in Libya currently and projects carried out by Turkish contractors constituted nearly 70 percent of the total business in the country’s construction sector.

Ilicak said 45 billion USD would be allocated for infrastructure investments in Libya in the next 10 years, adding Turkish contractors could earn 3-4 billion USD from these investments every year.

“We came to Libya as contractors first. Now, we are trying to bring Turkish retailers to the country,” Ilicak said.

Moreover, Ronesans Holding’s partner Lidco’s chairman Abdulhhamed Al Dabaiba said that it was very hard for other companies to compete with Turkish contractors in Libya at the moment.

Dabaiba also said his country saw Turkey as a rising star.


Luxury in Libya
30/ 08/ 2010

Later this year, architects Dexter Moren Associates will start work on a £100 million project on the Libyan coast: the Wadi Alswani Resort.

The resort, perched on the clifftop with uninterrupted views to the Mediterranean, is expected to have 350 luxury rooms and 45 villas with access to a private beach.

The desert site is on a plateau south of an existing village and features Ottoman ruins and an Italian memorial.

Commenting on Libya’s hotel market, director Jacqui Labb says “It is a growing market and, from our experience over the last year, it is a region with huge potential – particularly in the tourism sector, which is based on historic and cultural interest”.


Libya Offers Itself as Oasis for Overseas Investment


In the outskirts of this city, Libya’s second largest, row after row of sand-colored concrete apartment blocks and villas are sprouting from the desert. Hundreds of kilometers away, construction cranes dot the Mediterranean skyline of the capital, Tripoli. The multibillion dollar construction frenzy taking place is the latest and most visible sign of Libya’s drive for growth.

It’s a push that largely ignored the global financial meltdown that left other oil-rich Arab nations stumbling over the last couple of years, and reflects how Libya is tapping its oil wealth to reshape a country isolated for years by sanctions and international disdain.

Libya is “really trying to become, for lack of a better term, a new Dubai” said Carlos Caceres, a representative of the Los Angeles-based engineering giant Aecom working in Benghazi.

He was referring to the United Arab Emirate sheikdom whose stratospheric rise is rivaled only by its staggering debt.

Aecom is overseeing an $80 billion project to build 160,000 housing units throughout the country, about a quarter of which will be in Benghazi. It’s also refurbishing sewage systems and paving roads there.

Overall, Libya plans to spend $500 billion over the next decade on a host of projects.

New universities are planned, Tripoli’s shabby airport is being overhauled, Toyota and Honda sedans abound in the streets and trendy cafes dot street corners.

The International Monetary Fund projects Libya’s economy to grow by 5.4 percent this year, while the UN said foreign direct investment into the country quadrupled from $1 billion in 2005 to $4.1 billion in 2008.

“It’s absolutely the boom country at the moment,” said Richard Barber, a British supervisor with HanmiParsons, a South Korea-based construction management company.

“So many engineers from Dubai and the rest of the Middle East are coming here now and finding work, including me.”

The projects under way are as much a product of that contradiction as they are a reflection of Libya’s challenges.

Unemployment, according to the CIA, is pegged at around 30 percent, and Libya’s youth — who comprise the majority of the population — struggle to find affordable housing.

The banking sector is being reformed, and Italy’s UniCredit was recently awarded the first international license in the country.

But there’s still work left, said Tarek Alwan, the managing director of SOC Libya, a London-based company that advises firms about business in Libya.

“Even credit cards are not widely accepted. Cash is still king,” he said.

Throughout Benghazi, new sewage pipes and electrical lines are being laid. In Tripoli, Turkey’s EMSAS Construction is working on a $1.3 billion luxury high-rise complex along the road to the city’s airport.

The Bab Tripoli complex, to be completed in November, will include 2,000 apartments, a hospital and a giant mall with an ice-skating rink and a 22-lane bowling alley.

Another Turkish firm, TAV Construction is working with Athens-based Consolidated Contractors to finish the revamping Tripoli’s international airport by March.

The project includes two new terminals that can handle 20 million passengers annually.

Top international hotel chains Intercontinental, Sheraton and Marriott will soon open their doors for the first time in Tripoli as Libya looks to draw more businessmen in and tap the tourist market with its beaches and Roman ruins.


5th Technology of Oil and Gas Forum

12-14 October 2010, Tripoli International Fair, Tripoli, Libya

Libya’s longest running and largest oil and gas event celebrates its fifth anniversary.

TOG, Technology of Oil and Gas Forum is firmly established as the must attend event in Libya’s oil and gas event calendar. TOG has become the Libya’s longest running oil and gas event with the largest participation. Held on a biannual basis since 2002, we are pleased to announce that TOG will celebrate its fifth anniversary in the year 2010.

TOG is organised by the Libyan Petroleum Institute and is supported by the National Oil Corporation (NOC), meaning that all participants are guaranteed to meet the key decision makers in Libya’s oil and gas industry. The exhibition is organised by Waha Expo Company, who are Libya’s most prolific and professional event organizers, supported by their international sales representative AME Trade Ltd.

Source :

Italian builders prepare for 1,700 km Libya road


Italian builders including Impregilo have expressed an interest in a project to build a 1,700 km motorway across Libya, sources close to the matter said on Friday.

Italy’s biggest builder Impregilo and No. 2 Astaldi filed for prequalification to bid for the project connecting Tunisia and Egypt as leaders of two separate consortiums, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Rome-based Astaldi teamed up with construction firms Bonatti, Ghella, Grandi Lavori and Toto, one of them said.

It was not immediately clear how many other companies filed for prequalification.

The project, reportedly worth $3 billion, is the biggest of its kind in Africa. It will be financed by Italy as agreed in a friendship treaty signed by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2008.

The treaty foresees that Italy invests up to $5 billion in Libya over 20 years in infrastructure projects reserved to Italian companies.

According to a tender published by the Libyan embassy in Rome earlier in August, companies had until Friday to file a request to prequalify for the project.

The planned four-lane road will stretch from Ras Ajdir, on the border with Tunisia, to Imsaad, close to Egypt. Italian business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported last week the project would be worth $3 billion.
The awarding procedure is expected to start by Oct. 30.

Source :

Libya – An essential factor in Africa’s economic recovery

19 /08/ 2010

Africa is recovering strongly from the global crisis and countries like Libya are back on a high growth trajectory. This was the key message of the 2010 African Economic Outlook (AEO), launched in Tripoli, Libya.

The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Economic commission for Africa (UNECA), jointly produces the report.

The continent is bouncing back from the crisis after having seen its GDP growth reduced from an average of about 6% from 2006-2008 to a mere 2.5% in 2009. Growth is expected to rebound to 4.5% in 2010 and 5.2% in 2011, the report explains

North African countries like Libya “have shown strong resilience to the crisis and are expected to be an important part in the continent’s recovery,” says AfDB North Africa Region Department Director, Jacob Kolster, at the launch attended by over 50 policymakers, researchers  and Libyan media at the Libyan Academy of Graduate Studies.

The launch comes at a time when the Bank is actively stepping up its engagement and intensifying its dialogue with Libya following the  approval of the institution’s Country Engagement Note in 2009, as well as that of its first Technical Assistance program in support of the Libyan Export Promotion Center.

“Libya does not need Bank financing, but rather the knowledge and technical assistance it can share with us,” The Dean of the Libya Academy, Salah Ibrahim, stated.

“We are happy that the Bank is becoming an important partner for Libya and a reference for knowledge on development in the country and for Africa,” Mr. Ibrahim added

The launch, which included the presentation of the AEO chapter on Libya, is part of a wider program of knowledge exchange and technical assistance being extended to the country. The report presents a complex and promising scenario of a country undertaking tremendous transformation. Libya has embarked on a massive 270 billion Libyan dinars (about USD 225 billion) public investment program over 2008-2012. The country is also opening up its economy and establishing stronger ties with the global economy.

“At this critical juncture, the Bank can play a key role in providing strategic and much needed advice to assist Libya in managing this transformation for the greatest benefits of its people and future generations” said AfDB Research Department Manager, Peter Walkenhorst..

Investing in, and broadening the spectrum of available income and revenue resources for future generations are a major concern for many African countries–“a challenge Libya is tackling through prudent management of its sovereign wealth fund, but also through the tremendous progress the country has made in diversifying and streamlining taxes” says Emanuele Santi, the Bank’s country Economist for Libya

Libya’s experience is only one of many documented in the 2010’s AEO report, largely dedicated to the experiences and trends in Mobilizing Public Resources. The 2010 edition contains detailed reports, data and analysis on 50 African countries.

Source :

Oman’s Galfar eyes India and Libya expansion

17 /08/ 2010

Galfar Engineering and Contracting Co, Oman’s largest building contractor, is planning to expand overseas to India and Libya as its domestic market becomes increasingly more competitive, it was reported on Tuesday.

Galfar reported this week that net profits for the first half of 2010 declined 81.16 percent year-on-year from RO8.44m ($21.91m) to RO1.59m ($4.12m). The contractor is therefore eying future growth in the Gulf and overseas.

The company’s Indian operation has already won three projects and is in the process of bidding for some port projects, J. K. Salvi, vice- president of business development and tendering at Galfar told the Times of Oman newspaper.

Of its three current projects in India, one is due to be completed by the end of the year and the remaining two will start by the end of 2010.

In Libya, Salvi told the newspaper that Galfar was in talks to form a joint venture with a local partner. “We are planning to register the company after Ramadan. We will concentrate on oil and gas contract works in Libya,” Salvi is quoted as saying.


ITTC pioneers higher education teaching in Libya


A TEFL teacher training college in Dorset is the only one in the UK involved in an initiative to empower Libyan nationals to teach English in their own universities – the first scheme of its kind.A teaching college in Dorset is part of a groundbreaking scheme training Libyans to teach English in their own universities.
The International Teaching and Training Centre (ITTC) in Bournemouth is now in the second year of the project with more than 30 Libyan teachers completing their training in both Tripoli and on the south coast.

The Libyan English Teaching in Universities Project (LETUP) is focusing on nine Libyan universities where English skills are low and there is a shortage of language teachers with internationally-recognised teaching qualifications.

ITTC is the only UK teacher training college involved in the scheme in partnership with the British Council, with funding from the Libyan government.

“This is a groundbreaking course leading to the upgrading of qualifications and skills in Libya’s university sector,” said Richard Davies, head of training at ITTC.

“It is all about empowering Libyan nationals, giving them the tools they need to be self sufficient running a successful and high quality English teaching programme.

“It is also providing new work opportunities for them on an international platform.”

The new teacher trainers are studying for the internationally-recognised Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) and In-Service Certificate of English Language Teaching (ICELT) qualifications.

The new university language centres in Libya are also being advised on teaching resources and materials, academic management systems, syllabuses and course outlines.

“LETUP is the mark and the cornerstone of the Ministry and university achievements,” said Dr Abdul Kabir El Fakhri, Minister of Education and Scientific Research in Libya

“It is the single most impressive achievement we’ve had for years.”


South Korea: Daewoo Wins $ 438 Million Power Plant Deal in Libya

06 /08/ 2010

Libya – Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., South Korea’s No. 4 builder, said Friday it has won a 510 billion won (US$438 million) deal to build a power plant in Libya.

Under the deal with General Electricity Co. of Libya, Daewoo Engineering will build the plant in Zwitina, southeastern Libya, by May 2013, South Korean news agency (Yonhap) reported.

The deal came amid worsening diplomatic ties between South Korea and Libya over a controversial spy case, which could put massive construction projects carried out by South Korean firms into trouble.

The deportation of a South Korean diplomat suspected by the Libyan government of spying sparked diplomatic turbulence between the two countries in mid-July.

About 20 South Korean builders, including the local top builder Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., were conducting construction projects worth a combined $9.2 billion in Libya, whose construction market is the local builders’ third-largest overseas market.

In the first six months of the year, the local builders won $104 million in new orders from Libya.


Libya awards Strabag $136 mln road deal: report

04 /08/ 2010

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya has awarded Austrian construction firm Strabag a 172 million dinar road contract, Libyan state news agency Jana reported, part of a $30 billion, 15-year infrastructure expansion plan.

Under the deal, Strabag will team up with the local Al Hani construction firm to upgrade a road stretching over 210 km (130 miles) from Ras Ajdir, on the border with Tunisia, to Gura, about 60 km east of the Libyan capital, the report said.

The project is due for completion within 31 months, the news agency reported late on Tuesday.

The government had initially awarded the road project to the state-owned Roads and Engineering Company but stripped it of the contract because of delays in implementing the project, Jana reported.

Libya plans to invest 40 billion libyan dinars over 15 years to upgrade and expand its infrastructure and improve living standards for its 5.3 million population.


Former Turkish minister to work for Libyan firm, newspaper says

02/08/ 2010

Kürşad Tüzmen, a lawmaker for the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and a former state minister responsible for foreign trade, has begun work as a counselor for Libyan company ABC, according to business daily Referans.

Referans reported Monday that Tüzmen started sharing his expertise with Libya’s ABC-Al Istishariye economic and business development consultancy, headquartered in the northern province of Tripoli. Tüzmen will provide counseling services for Turkish investors wanting to establish themselves in the industrial zone of Tripoli, said the newspaper

Providing services for governments, global organizations, agencies, chambers of commerce and labor unions, ABC Chairman Abdulmagid el-Mansuri said the firm has been “in touch with Tüzmen for many years.”

“It is very important for us to benefit from his expertise in investments,” he said.

Tüzmen has organized many business trips to Libya with top businesspeople from Turkey in order to increase investment and utilize the opportunities in North Africa. In his trips he also solved problems regarding Libya’s debts to Turkish contractors. Due to health problems, Tüzmen resigned from office last year, leaving the post to Zafer Çağlayan.

On ABC’s website, Tüzmen was introduced as an advisory board member and was still described as Turkey’s state minister responsible for foreign trade and customs.

El-Mansuri, the chairman of the board, said Turkish companies were aiming to increase the number of projects they run in the country.

“Even though Libya is quite well known among some businessmen in Turkey, we would like increase awareness regarding opportunities in Libya,” he said.

“There are various opportunities such as setting up and managing new industrial zones as well as investment opportunities in agriculture, food, tourism, fishing, health care and education,” he said. “There is a port to be built in the industrial zone. All details regarding the zone will be announced in the next three months. I think Turks should know Libya better and we would like to inform Turkish investors about our new industrial zone project.”

As a country with doors open to foreign investors, Libya signed investment agreements worth nearly $10 billion last year and has been attracting many contractors from all around the world with Turkish contractors, such as Rönesans, Gama, Enka, Summa and many others, maintaining operations in the Libyan market. In the short amount of time between 2005 and 2009, Turkish companies ran 192 projects worth $12.5 billion in Libya.

The number of Turkish companies active in Libya grew from 10 to 110 in the last eight years and Turkish companies won contracts worth of $5.2 billion last year. Bilateral trade between Libya and Turkey increased 57 percent last year to $2.2 billion, and that figure is expected to reach $10 billion in the next five years.


Libya Trade & Investment Forum Enhancing UK-Libyan Business

09 /07/ 2010

The UK based Middle East Association (MEA) held a major trade and investment forum on Libya on Tuesday 6 July at One Great George Street, London .  Sponsored by Europe Arab Bank and Denton Wilde Sapte, ‘Libya IV – Trade & Investment Forum’ was attended by around 175 business representatives including a 35 strong delegation from Libya.

The Forum highlighted the strong relations between the UK and Libya and the prospects for the expansion of UK/Libyan trade and investment as a result of Libya’s efforts to diversify its economy, massive investments in infrastructure, the encouragement of the private sector and improvements in the business environment.   UK exports to Libya have grown strongly in recent years, more than doubling since 2006, and rising by 51% in 2009 to £423 million.

In a keynote speech Dr Alsedieg Alshaibi, General Manager of Social and Economic Planning Management, Ministry of Planning and Finance, Libya, highlighted Libya’s strong growth rate since 2004 and the potential for UK/Libya business, with UK involvement and expertise sought in BOT, BOO and other infrastructure projects.

Antoine Sreih, CEO, Europe Arab Bank, highlighted the strength of Libya’s economy, its role as an important future source of world energy, recent economic and banking reforms, and the increase in FDI since the lifting of sanctions.
He also highlighted the potential for the growth of the non-oil sector in areas such as tourism, the finance sector, healthcare, education and training, real estate and infrastructure. As far as business is concerned Libya is a ‘land of opportunities’, he concluded.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Vice President MEA commented that Libya is investing not only in its physical infrastructure but also in its intellectual capacity building infrastructure and noted the ‘real indications of change’.

Mr Abdulmagid El-Mansuri, Chairman, Foreign Investment Advisory Committee, Ministry of Industry Economy & Commerce, Libya, commented that Libya is open for business and is seeking further cooperation with the UK, saying “Libya is looking to the UK for investment”. There is currently around £1.5 billion of UK investment in Libya, he said.
He suggested establishing a mutual fund to encourage UK industries to invest in Libya and highlighted the potential for UK/Libyan business cooperation in Africa given Libya’s strong role in Africa.
There was much discussion of the political, economic and business environment. While Libya’s enormous foreign exchange reserves, low levels of sovereign debt and progress on privatisation were noted, continuing dependence on hydrocarbons and income disparities were also mentioned, and some concerns were raised about the pace of reform and diversification.

The conference also heard about the consolidation and simplification of the laws relating to business and foreign investment, which will improve the environment for foreign investors.  Corporation tax is being reduced to a fixed rate of 20% and the door is being opened for foreign participation in all types of companies.  There is also provision for the establishment of the Zwara free zone, which could have its own judicial system, ports and airports.  Progress on banking reform was also noted, with HSBC a strong candidate to win one of the two new joint venture banking licenses expected to be awarded at the end of July.

The conference discussed developments and opportunities in the oil and gas; education and training; real estate and infrastructure; and healthcare sectors.  There was plenty of advice for British companies looking to expand their business with Libya – the importance of personal relationships, choosing the right partner, maintaining a presence and being persistent were highlighted.

The Middle East Association (MEA) is the UK’s premier organisation for promoting trade and good relations with the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Iran.  The MEA is an independent and non-profit making association founded in 1961 and based in London.  It represents some 400 large and small companies from all business and industry sectors who together account for an estimated 70% of UK trade with the region.  The Patron of the Association is HRH The Duke of York, UK Special Representative for International Trade & Investment.

The Middle East Association has played a major role in promoting British /Libyan business relations. The Libya IV Trade & Investment Forum was the fourth in the series of annual conferences on Libya organised by the Middle East Association.  The Association also takes at least two trade missions a year to Libya.


Libya Puts Hope for LNG Exports on New Finds


Libya is said to be banking on future discoveries, not its reserves, to back plans for expanding its gas exports. That includes at least one liquefied natural gas (LNG) project that is already progressing rapidly towards construction.

Sirte Oil, a joint venture between the Libyan state-owned National Oil Company (NOC) and Royal Dutch Shell, will seek bidders for a contract to refurbish Libya’s 40-year-old Brega LNG plant in the fourth quarter of this year, Abdelsalam Hussein, the manager of the project, said at the Libya Gas Conference just concluded in Rome.

Earlier in the conference Dr. Shokri Ghanem, the chairman of NOC, said Libya was setting the domestic market as its top priority for new gas supplies, but still expected to have some for export.

The project was predicated on gas discoveries by Shell in its Sirte basin offshore concession area. It was intended to minimize the time required to bring anticipated new gas supplies to market.

Mr Hussein said that Libya was confident of finding sufficient reserves in the Sirte basin to support the Brega project.

“I believe Libya is poised to return to the global energy market as one of the top 10 LNG producers in the world,” he added. “We have been in the LNG business for 40 years and would like to continue to be in it for the future.”

But Aman Amanpour, the managing director of the Dubai energy consultancy Amanpour Consult, advised against such a strategy. He noted that some other Arab states were now facing gas shortages after developing export capacity that had not been backed by proved reserves.

He said Libya needs government input for a gas master plan, and it doesn’t need to go through what has happened in Egypt and Oman.

Fuad Krekshi, the deputy manager of the Libyan operations of Canada’s Suncor Energy, said the north African nation would soon need all its established gas production to supply increasing domestic demand.

“Libya will be facing a gas shortage if it wishes to fulfil its export obligations,” he said. “If we are talking about exports, we have to talk about exploring and finding new gas.

“NOC has to offer competitive contractual terms for gas and ensure [gas sales are] indexed to international prices. It will also have to ensure that infrastructure is replenished.”

Mr Krekshi said that Libya’s most important gas transportation system, its coastal pipeline, was already “saturated”, and would need to be expanded to accommodate any additional gas production from the Sirte basin.

Source :

Energy City in Libya at a cost of more than 10 billion dollars.


Libya began preliminary work for the establishment of Energy City at a cost ranging between 10 to 20 billion dollars.
The Executive Chairman of the “Energy City Qatar,” Hisham Al Emadi  that the draft energy cities launched in Qatar in 2007 and launched projects to establish similar cities in Libya, to be a center of power in North Africa.
And that the draft Emadi Energy City in Qatar, Libya and India are not affected by the global financial crisis, despite the limited impact of the crisis caused by the companies.
It is noteworthy that the Libyan city of energy, held in partnership between Gulf Finance House (one of Bahrain’s financial institutions) and the company five points of the Tourism Development and Investment (a subsidiary of the Economic Development Fund and Social).
Area of the city and extends to 780 hectares, is scheduled to become president based on the most important oil and gas companies in the world to be equipped with the latest techniques and information.
containing compounds consisting of centers for the databases and environmental investments and renewable energy.
The project has shipping companies, trade, and complex associations, trade unions, media and journalism, and a center for activities and services, external works, as well as it contains parks, residential units and commercial complexes.

Source :

Corinthia to Commence Work on €300m Medina Tower in Tripoli


Excavation and construction will kick off in the coming weeks on Medina Tower in Libya, a mix use development on the main boulevard in the heart of Tripoli, jointly owned and developed by Mediterranean Investments Holding p.l.c. (MIH), International Hotel Investments p.l.c. (IHI) and their Libyan partners, the Economic Development and Real Estate Investment Company (EDREICO).

Estimated at a total cost of €300 million, the development will consist of residential, office, retail and leisure accommodation within a self-contained ‘vertical town’ that is expected to become the market leader in its environment by establishing itself as a neighbourhood-serving commercial centre that is also a vibrant arts, cultural and entertainment centre.

Details of the project were announced this afternoon by Corinthia Group Chairman Alfred Pisani, MIH director Joseph Fenech and the Managing Director for Medina Tower Joint Stock Company Reuben Xuereb during a press conference.

Medina Tower benefits from the expertise gained by MIH in developing large scale projects in Libya, particularly the Palm City Residences, as well as Corinthia’s 35 years experience of doing business and investing in Libya, Mr Pisani said.

Established in 2006, MIH has just completed its first project in Libya – Palm City Residences, an entire village near Tripoli that is already established as the most upmarket residential development in the country. It is already practically sold out and turning a profit.

The Medina Tower site is located on the most important thoroughfare in Tripoli and has now been fenced off for excavation to begin shortly.

Specialised contractors are being engaged to employ a top-down construction method which will accelerate the construction.

The construction process has been opened to international tendering and Maltese contractors and suppliers will be invited to bid, just as they were invited to bid for works at Palm City Residences.

Built on a land plot measuring 11,000m², the development will span a total floor area of 200,000m² with 138, 000m² above ground and spread over 40 floors.

Construction will take 44 months to complete and the first tenants are expected to move in during the first half of 2014.

The architectural concept stems from a 4-storey podium that will include a mix of residential, retail, commercial and conference and conference space.

A curved tower rises from the 6th level and peaks at the 40th level, where a stunning double height restaurant will adorn the crown of this landmark building.

This architectural concept embraces the neighbouring buildings while its curved lines allow each floor to enjoy unobstructed views of the Mediterranean Sea.


Gazprom plans to join Libya’s Elephant oilfield project in fall 2010


Russian energy giant Gazprom is planning to join the Elephant oilfield in Libya in an asset-swap deal with Italy’s energy company Eni this fall, Gazprom deputy head Alexander Medvedev said on Friday.

Under the deal, Gazprom is to take half of Eni’s stake in the deposit or a total of 33% in the project. In exchange, Eni will be allowed to take part in projects to develop northwest Siberian assets owned by the Arctic Gas company.

The Elephant oilfield, which has recoverable reserves of around 700 million barrels, is located in Murzuq Basin in the southwestern Libyan desert, about 800 km (465 miles) south of Tripoli. The deposit, also known as the El Feel oilfield, was discovered in 1997.


WIL Lines Opens Home Base in Tripoli, Libya


WIL Lines, a worldwide logistics integrator with offices throughout the US, Africa, Middle East and Europe, recently opened its Libyan office in the capital, Tripoli.
We can assure our customers that we have trusted partners in Libya, because at the other end of the shipping route is another WIL Lines office.
Since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the U.S. in 2004, Libya’s economy has opened significantly. Foreign businesses are finding it easier to do business there and the profits to be made are significant. The country has one of the highest GDPs in the world and is a major importer of dry foods and other foodstuffs.

Though Libya is practically an untapped market welcoming new, foreign business and investments, it is still a challenging market. Luckily, WIL Lines’ agents have made a career out of operating in challenging markets in Africa the Middle East hard-to-reach ports with complex operational regulations.

“The Tripoli office uniquely positions WIL Lines as an American company with direct connections to Libya,” says Maurice Mrad, President. “We can assure our customers that we have trusted partners in Libya, because at the other end of the shipping route is another WIL Lines office.”


Competitiveness and the Type of Economic Activities Libya should Focus On


A seminar and training workshop on compositeness was held in a leading Tripoli hotel between 6-10th June organized by the Privatization and Investment Board (PIB) and the Libyan Export Promotion Centre.

The seminar and workshop entitled ‘Competitiveness to provide human resources and products of international standards, capable of economic competition – Competitiveness at home is the way for success abroad’ included experts in the relevant fields from the USA, New Zealand and Libya.

The Secretary of the GPC for Industry, Economy and Trade, Mr. Mohammad Huwaij, in his opening remarks, highlighted the dynamism enjoyed by Libya’s economy in all areas of services and productivity.

The development program implemented by the Great Jamahiriya includes huge investments in infrastructure, energy, education, health, and transportation in addition to investments in productive sectors.

He stressed the competitive advantages enjoyed by Great Jamahiriya of its geographical location, natural resources and climate, the Mediterranean and distinguished political and social stability.

The Secretary, also pointed out that several activities have been implemented in order to link national economic institutions with those of international institutions, and strengthen cooperation, so as to exchange experience and knowledge sharing.

He stressed that the objective of this seminar on competitiveness and its training program, is to establish competitive economic clusters and the creation of a national investment map.

The head of the Privatization and Investment Board (PIB), in his opening remarks stressed that ‘this workshop is accompanied by a practical training program on the operational tools of public and private competitiveness based on human and technical resources and techniques for preparing an investment map.

This would be with the participation of more than about 120 Institutions and local public and private companies. About 87 people were planned to receive over three consecutive days of this training program delivered by experts with long experience in the field from the United States of America, New Zealand, and Libya’.

‘This workshop and training program is aimed at raising the level of efficiency of domestic products based on human resources specifically. Also it aims to link between the philosophy of export and investment, providing competitive products leading to the global markets, according to international standards’.

Equally, the head of the PIB continued, ‘during this workshop and training program will include seminars, panel discussions and lectures focused on the overall concept of competitiveness, and the role of technical and human resources in creating competitive economic clusters by applying competitiveness, and creating a national investment map’.

During the training sessions, companies and experts were divided as per their activities for further discussions and studies. Activities and sectors covered included tourism, fisheries, industry, building materials, the petrochemical industry, the dairy industry and the subject of food prices.

Related topics discussed included finance and finance institutions, storage and marketing, the role of universities and institutes of higher education, and the role of training and the provision of qualified human resources to operate the various sectors under study.

The subject of a favorable business environment, competition, competitiveness, competitive advantages, diversification away from hydrocarbons, over employment, false subsidies, wealth creation, creative and productive real jobs, start-ups and SMEs are subjects that the Tripoli Post has covered widely over the last four years.

We have monitored the launch and development of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and its SME and Incubator Departments. We have reported on the activities of the PIB and the Chamber of Commerce as well as the GPC Industry, Economy and Trade in their efforts to transform the Libyan economy from an old style centralized command economy to a new modern, competitive, free-market economy.

The concept of competitiveness is important as Libya tries to find a niche for itself in the competitive world market. The concept has to be taken seriously and assessed scientifically. Libya has to decide in which direction it wishes to take its economic growth and development. Petrochemicals are an obvious option in view of the existing hydrocarbons industry in Libya.

But Libya must also think about diversification of income streams so that when the petrochemicals sector is struggling worldwide, its whole economy does not suffer too. Equally, while the petrochemicals sector of Libya is a big earner, it is a relatively low employer.

Libya must also decide if it wants to become a centre for light industries, heavy industries, tourism, finance, off-shore banking etc. for example, Tunisia is slowly becoming a major manufacturer of automobile components for the EU car industry.

On the other hand, Libya may want to partially copy the Dubai model and become a re-export centre linking Africa with Europe the Middle East and western North Africa (Al Maghreb). Similarly it may, for example, want to expand the tourism, IT, or the ‘call centres’ industries.

Whatever route it decides to take, Libya need to make strategic decisions based on scientific analyses of Libya’s real as opposed to perceived capabilities. It must establish in which areas it has competitive advantages and must exploit those sectors.


Libya sets up London hedge fund to train financial experts

16 / 06/ 2010

The Libyan government is backing a new London hedge fund with hundreds of millions of dollars, as the Arab state seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and train a generation of investment professionals in the ways of the financial markets.

FM Capital Partners has been hiring staff at its offices in Knightsbridge, has applied for registration with the Financial Services Authority and plans to launch later in the summer.

The hedge fund will be run by the former Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns trader Frederic Marino, with a board that includes luminaries from Libyan diplomacy and its sovereign wealth funds.

As well as managing money on behalf of funds linked to the Libyan government, it will also offer a training scheme for professionals from the north African state’s nascent finance industry and sovereign wealth funds. Mr Marino was in Paris yesterday recruiting academic mathematicians to teach in the programme, which will be a mix of classroom training and hands-on trading experience at the fund.

“What we are developing is not just an investment fund,” he told The Independent. “What we will give back to our clients is not just the returns on their investment that we generate. This is also about the transfer of investment technology and creating a generation of people who, in four or five years, will have a good level of technical international financial knowledge.”

FM Capital was quietly established almost a year ago, according to documents at Companies House, and has managed to stay out of public view as it builds a team of traders and analysts. Mr Marino said it hopes to have more than 40 staff by the autumn. Directors include Mohamed Taher Siala, who has been Libya’s deputy foreign secretary, and Khaled Kagigi, who runs a Libyan government fund that invests in Africa.

FSA records show that Mr Marino, 43, transferred from Bear Stearns to JPMorgan after the bank’s collapse in 2008. He was earlier head of the fund-linked products group at Merrill Lynch. Also on the FM Capital board is Aurelien Bessot who, like Mr Marino, worked for the Dutch firm Rabobank in the early 1990s.

The size of the new hedge fund will be determined only in the coming weeks, depending on commitments from different sub-funds under the Libyan government’s control, but is expected to total several hundred million dollars. Mr Marino said it would also start to seek to manage funds from other Arab governments.

FM Capital’s activities will be split among a range of traditional hedge fund strategies, and it is also establishing a research team that will focus on investment opportunities and due diligence work in Africa.

“A lot of people are showing interest in Africa and economies there are showing double-digit growth,” Mr Marino said, “but while a few investment banks have developed business in Africa there is room for us to work with the Libyan Africa Portfolio to support investment ideas.”

FM Capital’s Libyan government backing comes from funds independent of the Libyan Investment Authority, its biggest and most aggressive sovereign wealth fund, which last week revealed itself as the third-largest shareholder in the FTSE 100-listed publisher Pearson, owner of the Financial Times.

Four decades after the coup that brought Muammar Gaddafi to power, Libya has been forging business links with the rest of the world following the lifting of sanctions in 2003, although links have remained tentative because of the memory of the regime’s support for terrorism.

Mr Marino said: “We are not doing any politics. There is a lot of business being done with Libya today. Large UK, French and Italian companies are doing business. Investment banks in the UK and the US have been doing business with Libya for three or four years. What happened in the past does not reflect what is happening now.”


Libya, Serbia sign agreement on education.


Libya and Serbia on Monday signed a cooperation memorandum of agreement in Tripoli in the areas of education, teaching and scientific research.The document, signed by the secretary of the Libyan general people’s committee for Scientific Research, Dr. Abdelkabir Fakhri and the Serbian Minister of Education, Zarbo Obradovic, calls for the encouragement of all activities likely to contribute to cooperation in the education and scientific sectors, the promotion of exchanges from experts, in addition to their participation in cultural, technical and scientific events.

The two countries agreed to share visits within their institutions, specialized universities and research centres and the holding of scientific programmes, cultural weeks, conferences and scientific symposiums.

The memorandum also covers the promotion and cooperation in the areas of school libraries and universities, the sharing of scientific publication and cooperation on technical education.

Each of the two parties will annually grant 20 scholarships to students from the other country in addition to several facilities needed to receive students who express the wish to undertake further studies in universities and schools in both countries.

The two countries also pledged to cooperate in the areas of the exchange of scientific equipments and materials, books, reference works and specialized periodicals for research, in addition to to recognizing the academic certificates and ranks awarded by Libyan and Serbian schools, institutes and universities.

Source :

Libya Puts Shell Africa Units at $2 Billion, Report


Libya Oil Holding Co. is said to have offered to buy some of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s downstream business in Africa for $2 billion, said Faisal Werfelli, a legal adviser in Tunisia told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Shell’s operations in South Africa are excluded from the proposed deal, Werfelli said in an interview in Tunis yesterday.

Libya’s Alrahila Oil Services and the Vitol Group have also expressed interest in buying Shell’s downstream assets, he said.

“Sale is our preferred option but we can’t comment on potential buyers,” David Williams, a Hague-based spokesman for Shell, said by phone today as quoted by Bloomberg.

The company said April 1 it wants to sell most of its downstream operations in 21 African countries.

Shell values its assets in Tunisia at about $140 million, said Werfelli, adding that the company will announce the buyer by mid-June. Shell has been operating in Tunisia since 1928, according to its website.

Libya Oil, previously known as Tamoil Africa, manages the Libya’s assets on the continent.


Libya Trade & Investment Forum explores opportunities available to UK companies

10 / 06 / 2010

Libya IV – A Trade & Investment Forum is being held at One Great George Street on 6th July 2010. The conference will explore the major opportunities available to UK companies across all sectors and is being supported by UK Trade & Investment, the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce and the Libyan Businessmen’s Council, as well the as Embassies in both countries.

Libya is Africa’s second largest oil producer, Europe’s single biggest supplier and a major gas producer with a huge potential to develop its economy. The country is going through a complete makeover, both politically and economically and the government is keen to diversify the economy, promote foreign investment and redistribute wealth through private enterprise.

With no foreign debt, Libya has an estimated $136bn in foreign currency reserves and is looking for investment opportunities. Trade with the UK has shown a marked increase in recent years – 66% up in 2008 on 2007, and 37% up in the first seven months of 2009 on 2008.

This conference is in its fourth year and is set to attract more than 250 key decision-makers, public sector representatives and businesspeople from both the UK and Libya. As well as giving a political and economic overview, sectoral panels will focus on oil & gas, construction, infrastructure, education & training, healthcare, finance, law, telecommunications and retail.

The conference, which follows an MEA trade delegation of 40 senior UK businesspeople to Libya in March 2010, will be a high-level networking opportunity and is already proving very popular.


Spinneys Group to launch in Libya next year – CEO

8 /06/ 2010

Spinneys Group, the supermarket operator with a string of stores across Lebanon and Egypt, is close to signing a deal to open two full-sized hypermarkets in Libya, its CEO has said.

“The next market we will be entering into is Libya, where we have an arrangement on the table,” Michael Wright told Arabian Business in an interview.

The move will be through a tripartite joint venture involving Spinneys, a group of unnamed Syrian investors, and a Turkish mall developer, Wright said.

“The first [hypermarket] should be open by end-2011, and the second a year after that,” he added. “Each store will take investment of around $8m to $10m, a mixture of equity and debt. The deal should be signed in the next quarter.”

The group has already announced plans to open four stores in Qatar and Jordan in 2010 and 2011, while in the same period it will add seven outlets to its existing eight in Lebanon and Egypt.

Spinneys Group is distinct from Spinneys Dubai, which operates stores across the UAE and was licensed to the Al Bwardi Group in 1999.

Source :

Libya to Invest in Mauritania’s Telecommunications


Following the meeting of the Joint Cooperation Commission between Libya and Mauritania, Libya is reportedly ready to invest in telecommunications in Mauritania, with particular interest in mobile and fixed telephony.

Libya is also interested in investing in the areas of fishing and mines, particularly in the iron industry and tourism, for which it will construct a large hotel in Nouakchott.

The governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania, Sid’Ahmed Oukld Rais, has been reported saying that that Libya has already cancelled Mauritania’s debt with it and rescheduled the interests on the debt.

The interests has been estimated at being about US$ 100 million, which is 50 per cent of the total debt, estimated at US$ 200 million.According to Rais, Libya has decided to grant Mauritania a budget support of US$50 million over two years for the construction of a hospital and the University of Al-Fateh in Mauritania.

The discussions between the two countries are a follow-up of the recommendations of the Libyan-Mauritanian Joint Cooperation Commission.

The recommendations called for the signing of some agreements following Libya’s investment projects in Mauritania


Construction Exhibition in Tripoli Registers Success for Many


A six-day construction and trade fair exhibition that kicked off on 15th and ended on Thursday 20th May at Tripoli International Fair ground was considered a success according to the views of several attendants and exhibitors.

The “Libya Build 2010” exhibition attracted many people and companies from within Libya and overseas.

According to the organizing committee, this time the exhibition attracted about 600 exhibitors and companies from countries such as China, Italy ,Britain, Korea, Thailand, USA, Malaysia, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Libya, Many from Turkey and a lot more.

Despite the fact that there were mixed reactions among some of the participants the exhibition has been considered a success. The Tripoli Post reporter was there to capture some of the views and verbatim.

An exhibitor, Joao Vilarinho who represented a Portuguese company dealing in manufacturing and distribution of industrial machinery tools and construction equipments, said that “this year’s exhibition was quite promising and with a lot of potentials to explore, we are looking forward to have Libyan distributors for our products in this wealthy country”

Kamal Edries of Almahary Kenzek group of companies situated in Misurata Libya, made said “this is the most successful exhibition ever been held here, it has surpassed all that were organized before.

It has attracted many participants, and so far we hope for more improvement next time.”

A representative of a Turkish company dealing in aluminum composite panels, Mr. Mehmet Gencel, also said that, “this exhibition has been quite an eye opener for our company, we require to open up our office here in Tripoli.” “It is good that Libyan people are friendly and hospitable,” he added.

Mr.Giuseppe Dorigo of Pratoverde Ditch an Italian company specialized in trailing machinery for installation, under ground pipes and cable however suggested that “Libya still has a good potential market, but, the organizers of the exhibitions require to conduct more sensitization and advertisement for such events. This time’s exhibition was a bit slower.”

Also Mr. Odai Ezzway an exhibitor of a Libya company dealing in Motor machines and concrete pumps from Germany said “there was no many problems faced since the beginning of our activities and I think we have succeeded.”

“The organizers were very co-operative and this exhibition is yet topping all others which were organized before,” Mr. Osama Alabed of Africa Equipments, a Libyan company representing Brand FG Wilson of England a company mostly dealing in distribution of generators, said.

Mr. Ugur Balof a Turkish company represented by Can Erdursun, Hay Andalus Tripoli for TEPE prefabricated construction Inc, said “we have got many clients; enabling us to win more contracts even from other countries like Tunisia and elsewhere, but we are appealing for the change of accommodations that is the premises of the fair ground which should be larger, in order to be somewhere more open than here.”

During the exhibition, many comments were captured from several participants and exhibitors and all maintained that, despite of some small and minor shortcomings, the exhibition registered a tremendous success and all the participants are looking forward for the forthcoming exhibition yet to take place in few months time.

Source :

Turkey, Libya agree to increase trade volume after forum


In an effort to increase the trade volume between the two countries, Libyan and Turkish businesspeople are gathering in Istanbul for a forum.

The two countries’ governments have aimed at a trade volume of $10 billion over the next five years, but while officials place their faith in such development, some participants say there remain large differences between each country’s business culture

Turkish Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergün said Thursday that Turkey and Libya should increase the annual trade volume to $10 billion over the next five years.

Speaking during the first Turkey-Libya Business Forum in Istanbul, Ergün said businesspeople from both sides would get to know each other at the forum and discover new ways for investments.

“As trade channels are contracting because of the global crisis, this business forum has an important meaning for us,” said Ergün.

“Last year, the business volume between Turkey and Libya increased by 60 percent, compared to 2008, and reached $2.2 billion.”

Turkey and Libya have a strong potential to increase this current trade volume, according to Ergün. The minister said, when the first quarter of this year is considered, the export of Turkey to Libya reached more than $5 billion.

“Trade is not only limited to exchanging products. We also think that businesspeople of two countries should invest more in each others’ countries.”

Turkey began establishing good trade relations with Africa and South America this year and last year, said Ergün, adding that trade relations between Turkey and Libya also should expand and increase.

The minister said a trade agreement for “protecting and encouraging bilateral investment” signed during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an’s visit to Libya, along with a visa exemption agreement decision between the countries, is expected to constitute a turning point in the economic and trade relations for the two countries.

“These developments also will trigger suitable constitutional platform for investments,” he said.
Ergün said countries who sign business agreements with Turkey will not regret it later.

“We expect that the investment environment rating of Turkey will increase and Turkey will be among the most suitable countries, which has a suitable investment environment.”

Noting that Turkey has had significant success in terms of the construction sector, Ergün said: “Our construction business volume reached $140 billion in 70 different countries.

Our country is the second largest country in terms of construction volume in the world.”

The first country, which has the largest volume in terms of construction is China, Ergün said but added that Turkey continues to develop its presence in the construction sector.

Ergün said the business volume of Turkish contractors in Libya has currently reached $9.2 billion in five years. “We expect the Turkey-Libya Business Forum will increase this volume.”

Source :

Education in Libya


By Nick Clark, Assistant Editor WENR

Libya’s population of approximately 5.5 million includes 1.7 million students, over 270,000 of whom study at the tertiary level. In academic year 1975/76 the number of university students was estimated to be 13,418. Today, this number has increased to more than 200,000, with an extra 70,000 enrolled in the higher technical and vocational sector. The rapid increase in the number of students in the higher education sector has been mirrored by an increase in the number of institutions of higher education. Since 1975 the number of universities has grown from two to nine and after their introduction in 1980, the number of higher technical and vocational institutes currently stands at 84.
Libya became independent in 1951 after 40 years of occupation by European powers. The country had been an Italian colony until the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa in 1942. From 1942 until 1951 it was under temporary British military rule. Under the monarchy (1951-1969), all Libyans were guaranteed the right to education. Schools at all levels were established, and old Koranic schools were reactivated and new ones opened, lending a heavy religious cast to Libyan education. School enrollments rose rapidly, particularly at the primary level; vocational education was introduced; and in 1955 the first Libyan university was established in Benghazi. Total school enrollment rose from 34,000 on the eve of independence in 1951 to about 360,000 at the time of the 1969 revolution. During the 1970s, teacher training was pushed in an effort to replace Egyptian and other non-Libyan teachers who made up a majority of teaching personnel.

The Socialist People’s Republic of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was founded on principles of political decentralization, after Mu’ammar al-Qadafi and a group of military officers seized power in September 1969. Over the ensuing 35 years, Qaddafi has developed his idiosyncratic political vision for the Jamahiriya, loosely translated as ‘state of masses,’ which essentially requires the total decentralization of all decision-making to the citizens themselves through direct democracy. In a series of essays compiled in his “Green Book” Qaddafi spells out a vision for what he termed the Third Way, or an alternative to capitalism and socialism.

From its inception the revolutionary regime placed great emphasis on education, continuing and expanding programs begun under the monarchy. By the 1980s, Libya had made progress, but the country still suffered from a lack of qualified teachers and enrollments in vocational and technical training lagged. Both of these shortcomings have resulted in a reliance on foreign-born professionals to fill teaching posts, technical positions in many state industries and service sector jobs in fields such as health care.

In 1980, to redress the balance, Libya enacted what was known as the “New Educational Structure.” School curriculums were restructured in favor of technical subjects and, in the humanities, Arabic language and Koranic education were particularly emphasized. The study of English from the seventh grade was also initiated. At the high school level the plan enabled the creation of specialized vocational and technical schools in addition to traditional academically oriented schools. The new structure also required the establishment of technical and vocational education at the tertiary level, which has led to the creation and strong growth in the number of higher technical and vocational institutions.

In March 2000, the General People’s Committee for Education and Vocational Training was dissolved and all of its responsibilities transferred to the regional people’s committees of the 32 Shbiat (municipalities).

Libya has a history of sending university students abroad. In 1978, more than 3,000 students were studying in the United States alone, however, by 2002 that figure had dropped to just 33 as a result of sanctions imposed in 1986 which restricted travel to the United States by Libyan nationals.

Late in 2003, the Libyan government promised to end its support of international terrorism and dismantle its nuclear weapons program. As a result, the United States is slowly re-establishing formal contact with Libya, and in recent months a delegation of academics and officials from both countries have toured universities in both Libya and the United States. Meetings have also been conducted with the goal of increasing the number of Libyan graduate students in the United States to 500 by 2005, and also facilitating U.S. academic and student exchanges to Libya. The British Council signed a cultural agreement with Libya at the end of 2003 which is expected to result in an increase in the number of Libyans studying in the UK. Officials from the British Council estimate that there are currently more than 3000 Libyan students enrolled at British institutions of higher and further education. Of those, 90 percent are said to be on Libyan government scholarships.

BASIC EDUCATION (Grades I through IX)

The first nine years of education are compulsory and are known as basic education. Basic education consists of the six years of primary school and the first three years of secondary school. Successful completion of nine years of basic education results in the award of the Basic Education Certificate. Compulsory education has an open path through the successive educational stages, with assessment at the end of fourth grade, sixth grade and ninth grade. Students progress to the subsequent grade if they score 50 percent or higher in each subject. The Libyan national report for the UNESCO Education For All program states that the rate of enrollment for grade one is approximately 98 percent.


Duration of program: Six years. This stage of education is split into a four-year period and a two-year period. Grades I through III receive 20 hours of weekly instruction, and grades IV through VI receive 23 hours of weekly instruction.

Curriculum: Arabic language, Koranic studies and Islamic morals, Jamahiriyi society, mathematics, sciences, history, geography, art, music, physical education.

The curriculums in grades one through six have recently been upgraded to emphasize the study of mathematics and science and introduce technological education to the curriculum.


Secondary education covers six to seven years divided into a three-year cycle that concludes the compulsory, or basic, period of education and a three- to four-year “intermediate” cycle. Since the early 1980s, the application of the “New Educational Structure” for training and education at the basic level allows students who drop out before completing the full nine years of basic education the opportunity to enroll in vocational programs of one to three years in length. These programs train students in a practical skill or vocation in readiness for the job market and result in the award of the Lower Certificate. In academic year 1998/99 there were 398 basic vocational training centers training more than 130,000 male and female students.

Lower Secondary School (Preparatory Education)

Duration of program: Three years (Grades VII through IX). Students receive 27 hours of weekly instruction.

Curriculum: Arabic language, Koranic studies and Islamic morals, Jamahiriyi society, English, mathematics, history, geography, biology, chemistry, physics, principles of technology, art, music, physical education.

Leaving Certificate: Grade nine marks the completion of the basic and compulsory stage of education at the end of which students take examinations for the Basic Education Certificate.

Upper Secondary School (Intermediate Education)

Intermediate education extends from three to four years and is provided at general (science and arts) and specialized secondary schools (economics, biology, arts and media, social sciences and engineering), and vocational training centers and institutes. Studies last four years in technical education, three years in general secondary schools and two to three years in vocational secondary schools.

In light of the afore mentioned “New Educational Structure,” plans for restructuring intermediate education include the gradual phasing out of general secondary schools in favor of technical secondary schools that would specialize in six main fields: basic sciences, engineering and industrial sciences, medical sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts and media. The idea behind the plan is to prepare students for a level of specialization at university, and to provide those students not destined for higher education with a practical vocational base in preparation for the labor market.

It is worth noting that from the time of their introduction in the 1990s, enrollment at specialized technical schools has been weaker than hoped for by educational planners. Reasoning for this has been centered on traditional social and cultural values, commonly held in many Arab countries, placing a premium on theoretical and academic education. It is reported that these enrollment trends are gradually reversing.

Duration of Program: Three to four years (Grades X through XII/XIII). Students receive 28-30 hours of weekly instruction.

Curriculum: The first year of the intermediate cycle at general and specialized schools is common for all students and covers Islamic education, Arabic, English, politics, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, art, physical education and military education. Students at general secondary schools may then specialize in the literary or scientific branches. The literary branch covers history, geography, philosophy, sociology; the scientific branch covers physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics; the common subjects to both branches are religious education, Arabic, English, physical education and military education. At specialized technical schools students specialize in a particular field in the last two years.

Leaving Certificate: On completion of the intermediate cycle students take final exams. Students who successfully pass the exams are awarded the Secondary Education Certificate.


Intermediate vocational training centers train students for various skills-based professions. Students who graduate from the two to three-year programs are awarded the Intermediate Training Diploma, which gives access to vocational training centers and institutes but not university studies. Vocational schools offer programs for 44 different vocations in seven major fields: electrical; mechanical; carpentry, building and architectural; inclusive female vocations; service industry; agricultural; marine fishing.

Official statistics suggest that 50-60 percent of Libyan students graduating from the nine-year basic education cycle enroll in programs offered at intermediate vocation training centers.


Higher education in Libya is provided by universities (both general and specialized) and higher technical and vocational institutions, which include polytechnics; higher teacher training institutes; higher institutes for trainers (training future higher technical institute instructors); higher institutes for technical, industrial and agricultural sciences. Higher technical and vocational institutions were introduced to the tertiary sector in 1980 as a result of a government policy known as the New Educational Structure for higher education. During academic year 1995/96 there were approximately 54 such institutions, by 1999/00 the number increased to 84.

New scientific institutions called scientific research centers have recently been established in such fields as health and pharmacy, education, the environment and basic sciences. They function as both research and educational institutions. In the mid 1990s several higher institutes for teacher training were established which amalgamated with secondary teacher training schools that used to graduate primary school teachers.

The higher education system is financed by, and under the authority of, the state. Each university, however, manages its own budget and administration. From the late 1980s to the present day there has been a rapid and steady increase in the number of registered students in higher education. Despite a comparatively large allocation of the national budget, higher education in Libya has been under financial pressure as a result of the rapid increase in demand, and because of external economic pressures.

The Open University is the only institution within the public sector that relies to some extent on tuition fees paid by students. Other public institutions of higher education rely entirely on the national budget. As a result, policymakers have in recent years allowed the establishment of private institutions of higher education through what are known as educational cooperatives (Tasharukiat Talimia). There has also been considerable research into the possibilities for developing partnerships between the public (shabiat) and private sectors to finance higher education, which, in a three-year period between 1997 and 2000, resulted in the establishment of more than five private university colleges and higher education institutes. These innovations in private provision have led to heated public debate over the role of the state and the private sector in education provision and whether the quality of education being offered by the private sector is of an adequate quality.


Admission to both university and non-university programs requires the Secondary Education Certificate, awarded at the end of the ‘intermediate’ or secondary school cycle. Since 1990, all universities require a score of 65 percent or better on the Secondary Education Examinations to enroll in a university program. Some faculties, such as medicine and engineering, require scores exceeding 75 percent for admission. Students who have an average below 65 percent are admitted to higher training and vocational institutes. Students from specialized secondary schools are strongly encouraged to continue their field of specialization at the tertiary level.


The university sector in Libya dates back to independence in 1951 and the establishment of the “Libyan University” with campuses in Benghazi and Tripoli, and gradually grew to incorporate faculties of Arts and Education, Science, Economics and Commerce, Law, and Agriculture. In 1967, it annexed both the Faculty of Higher Technical Studies and the Higher Teachers’ Training College, which became faculties of engineering and education. In 1970, the faculties of Medicine, Arabic and Islamic Studies were incorporated.

In 1973, the university was divided into two separate and independent universities; the University of Tripoli and the University of Benghazi, later renamed the University of El-Fateh and the University of Gar-Yunis. Due to the increasing number of students enrolling in higher education through the 1980s and 1990s the two universities were restructured and others were established resulting in a total of thirteen universities by 1995, consisting altogether of 76 specialized faculties and more than 344 specialized scientific departments. Due to recent policy changes, the number of universities has been reduced to nine.

Hence, the university sector has been transformed from a single, state-run multipurpose university into a decentralized group of generalist and specialized universities.

Although no official studies have been conducted concerning the distribution of student enrollments at Libyan universities, there appears to be an imbalance between the number of students enrolled in the humanities and arts, and those in sciences and technology (El-Hawat 2003).

Programs and Degrees

Stage I: The first stage of university education requires four to five years (five years in architecture and engineering) of full-time study leading to a Bachelor’s Degree. There is a common curriculum for all first-year students. Undergraduate medical programs closely follow the British model. Degrees are conferred after five years of study, which is often preceded by a preparatory year and includes a one-year residency. Examinations are often conducted by the British Royal Colleges of Medicine and conferred by the Libyan Board of Medicine.

Stage II: The Higher Diploma and the Master’s Degree (MA or MSc) are awarded after two years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. These programs are mainly offered at the large universities, particularly Gar-yunis and Al-Fateh. Postgraduate studies in Libyan universities cover a wide range of subjects, but are generally dominated by Arabic, Islamic studies, social sciences, and humanities.

Stage III: The Doctorate requires a further two years of research and the submission and defense of a dissertation; however, only a few students gain their Ph.D.s from Libyan universities. As of academic year 1999/00, 100 students had attained Ph.D.s from Libyan universities; mainly in fields such as Arabic, Islamic studies and the humanities. Libyan universities have not yet started doctoral programs in science, technology, and engineering. As a result many students pursue their doctorates abroad.


In 1980, due to low enrollment rates in the sciences, technology and engineering, higher technical and vocational institutions were established. These include higher teacher training institutes; higher institutes to train trainers and instructors for higher technical institutes; higher vocational centers (polytechnics); specialized higher institutes for technical, industrial and agricultural sciences. Higher institutes offer programs in fields such as electricity, mechanical engineering, finance, computer studies, industrial technology, social work, medical technology and civil aviation. The qualification awarded after three years at vocational institutes and centers is the Higher Technician Diploma; otherwise, after four to five years, the Bachelor’s degree is awarded.

Many trainees and employees within the oil and gas sector take courses leading to City and Guilds qualifications of the London Institute, and increasingly British National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).


Higher institutes for teacher training and a number of university faculties enroll secondary school graduates into four-year teacher training programs. These programs are offered for primary, preparatory and intermediate level teaching.

Primary school teachers traditionally graduated from five-year programs at secondary-level teacher training institutes. These institutes are gradually being phased out and most instruction has been transferred to the tertiary level.


Established in 1990, the Open University offers distance education. Its main center is in Tripoli, with 16 other branches located around the country. Curriculums and teaching programs are conveyed via written and audiovisual learning packages.


Elementary and Secondary School: For every subject the minimum and maximum marks are shown on the certificate. In the literary branch of secondary school, the maximum mark is 260, the pass-mark being 130. In the natural science branch the maximum is 330, and the minimum pass-mark is 165.

Higher Education: Grading is on a percentage scale, with 50 percent as the minimum pass-mark. There are slight variations in the grading system from one institution to another.


• British Council, International Guide to Qualifications in Education, Fourth Edition. 1996. London: Mansell Publishing Limited.

• British Council Press Release. 18 Dec. 2003. “British Council Signs Major Agreement With Libya.”

• El-Hawat, A. 2003. African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (p. 391-402).

• Hanley D. & Mayfield B. 2001. “Libya Invests in its People.” Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs. Vol. 20, Issue 2 (March).

• Kaufman, S. July 2, 2004. “Libyan Delegation Seeks Renewed US Academic Exchanges.” Washington File.

• Libyan National Commission for Education, Culture and Science. 2001. “The Development of Education in the Great Jamahiriya” A national report presented to the International Conference on Education, Session 46, Geneva.

• Secretariat of Education (Libya). 2000. “The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports, Lybian Jamahiriya” Report presented as a progress report for UNESCO Education For All project.

• UNESCO, International Association of Universities and Association of African Universities, Guide to Higher Education in Africa. 2002. Hampshire: Palgrave Publishing.

Source :

Libya to Ease Visa Rules to Attract Tourists


Speaking at the American University in Cairo on Thursday, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi said Libya plans to ease visa restrictions for many countries as it seeks to attract tourists and diversify its economy away from oil.

“Right now it is very difficult to get a visa,” Qaddafi said in an address at the American University in Cairo today. “But soon, very, very soon, it will be very easy for many people around the world to visit Libya.”

“If we get millions of tourists to go to Libya they can see with their own eyes, so they can be good witnesses for you and for us,” Saif al-Islam said.

Libya has numerous Greek and Roman ruins at sites such as Leptis Magna and Sabratha.

The country must now reduce its dependence on the oil industry, enabling Libya to move from an “artificial economy” to a real one, Saif al-Islam said.

Oil revenue makes up more than 70 percent of gross domestic product.
A rising number of foreign investors have been attracted to Libya’s non-oil industries in recent years.

BNP Paribas of France owns 19 percent of Sahara Bank in Libya and the Arab Bank of Jordan has a similar stake in Wahda Bank.

Six lenders including HSBC Holding PLC and Standard Chartered PLC were short-listed for two banking licenses in Libya.

The central bank has said that it will announce the winners in July.


New Tax Law in Libya Aims to Promote Investment by Local Foreign Investors


By Dr. Abdussalam Sultan

For the sake of correcting the defectives of the old tax law, to reach tax justice, and to encourage local as well as foreign investors to do business in Libya, a new income tax law has been issued on 28th of January, 2010 listed under number (7) of the year 2010. The new laws has come into force as from 28/04/2010, the date of its publishing in Moudawant Al-Tashri’at ( The Official Gazette ) no. 4 of 2010.
This new tax law has a number of advantages which include the following:

First: Introducing many incentives to encourage investment and production and to achieve positive results in the field of tax outcome by:

A) Decreasing the tax rates of the different specific taxes imposed on the income of individuals as follows: on gross salary brackets of LYD12000 or LYD1000 per month the tax rate is 5 percent; on gross salary brackets of over LYD12000 or over LYD1000 per month, the tax rate is 10 percent.

B) Decreasing the tax rates applied on the profits of local as well as foreign companies to a flat rate of 20% of the net profit.

Second: Amendment of the familial exemption limit to accord with the increasing expenditures of those having limited income, in a way to reflect the prevailing economical situations, taking into consideration the social conditions and the familial economic burdens.

This amendment has exempted from taxes imposed on the income resulting from wages and salaries, commerce, industry, crafts, free professions, as well as income of the partners and all concerned sides applying the dectum “partners not wage workers”.

Therefore, every natural person whose annual income does not exceed LYD1,800 and single is entitled to such exemption; those who receive LYD2,400 if they are married with no dependents; those exempted also who receive LY2400 plus LYD300 per child per year if the person is married, widowed or divorced and has dependents .

Third: The new tax law also provide for other exemptions, the most important of which are:

1- Exemption of Income of public corporate organizations, as well as income of religious bodies, institutions and charity societies recognized by the State along with recreation and sports activity organizations.
2- Exemption of income resulting from depositing in savings accounts with the banks.
3- Exemption of revenue of charity endowments, awqaf.
4 – Exemption of the amounts paid to those entitled in the contracts for life insurance, whether in death or after the end of a specific period indicated in the contract.
5 – Exemption of income of students within the limits of the stipends and gratuities granted for study purposes.
6- Exemption of the compensations paid to the families of martyrs, lost or missing persons or having injuries causing permanent handicaps during their work.
7- Exemption of authors and researchers from the income tax on their production and researches with the purpose to encourage creative works and scientific research.
8- Exemption of the income resulting from pure agricultural activities to encourage farmers to produce food and to achieve food sufficiency.
9- Exemption of income resulting from export activity, as specified in the executive regulation for this law, so as to improve production and distribution of products
10- Exemption of foreign income of Libyan citizens and foreigners who are resident in Libya.
11- Exemption of pension incomes.
12- Exemption of development projects based on the General Peoples’ Committee decisions.
13- Any other income exempted from tax under the Law or on the basis of an international treaty or agreement.

Fourth: Preventing tax evasion, by introducing new rules and amending the old ones to block all gabs that might lead to tax evasion and to oblige all the concerned sides to co-operate with the tax authorities in order to increase the tax outcome.

Fifth: Putting a top limit to the penalties imposed on the delay of tax payment (in case of delay of payment or delivery of the tax in the specified date, a fine of (1%) (one percent) of the value of due tax shall be imposed on each delay for a period of one month or a part thereof not less than fifteen days, at maximum fine of (12%) (twelve percent) of the tax value), Companies need to submit to the TAX DEPARTMENT an annual tax declaration on their income on the relevant form certified by an external auditor (certified accountant) within no later than four months from the end of their fiscal year.

Libyan stock market closes trading high


Benghazi, Libya – The Libyan stock market Thursday closed trading with a 9.86 point increase, or 0.69% compared to the previous day, closing at 1431.22 points.

The overall value for transactions reached 713,856 Libyan dinars (1.290 Libyan dinar = US$ 1), focusing on the trade of 54,388 shares for 109 financial transactions.

Quotations focus on the securities of the Trade and Development Bank, AL-Jamhouruya Bank, Al-Wihda Bank, Sahara Bank, Saraa Trade and Investment Bank, Libyan Insurance and United Insurance.

Transactions concerning the sector of banks reached a rate of 82.05% of the over all operations at the stock market, while those on the sector of insurances represented 17.95% of the transactions.

The shares of Al-Wihda Bank, the Trade and Development Bank and Sahara Bank increased by 3.66, 1.68 and 0.67% respectively in their values to trade at 12.75, 19.32 and 15 dinars.

The shares of United Insurance, Al-Jamhouriya Bank, Libyan Insurance and Saraa Trade and Investment Bank dropped by 0.09, 0.43, 0.67 and 0.77% respectively to trade at 28.87, 13.79, 10.43 and 9 dinars.

At the close of trading, the share market value for companies which took part in trading reached 3,316,220,606 Libyan dinars.

Source :

Libya – Strong economic growth with huge surplus

29 /04/ 2010

Since 2002 Libya has been experiencing strong economic growth and large fiscal and external current account surpluses. The strong economic growth has been achieved in an environment of low inflation and stable macroeconomic conditions. Growth has been particularly strong in the construction and service sectors. On-going privatization in most sectors is increasing public participation in the country’s economic boom.

In the last 3 years, Libya has signed about 70 trade agreements related to double taxation, investor protection and promotion of trade. Libya is preparing for accession to the WTO and is negotiating a partnership agreement with the EU. The government remains focused on improving the domestic business environment to foster private sector development and attract foreign investment. A set of laws is under preparation, including: (i) customs law; (ii) a new law on FDI that unifies the three existing laws; (iii) a land registry law; and (iv) a new labor law. A new tax law which was passed recently will lower the maximum corporate income tax to 15% from 40%. All these laws aim to develop standards that are in line with international best practices.

The government and the private sector are working in partnership to develop a world-class infrastructure. In 2009, the state agencies in charge of promoting local and foreign investment and for the privatization of state-owned enterprises were merged to create the Privatization and Investment Board (PIB). PIB offers a one-stop shop to private foreign and domestic investors, that centralizes all necessary public departments, incorporating branches of the labor, customs, and tax departments. In 2009, 47 projects were implemented by the private (domestic and foreign) sector, reaching LD2bn ($1.63 billion). Total projects that are under development and received approval are 532 and valued at LD49.2bn ($40 billion), 67% from foreign investors. In addition, the Economic and Social Development Fund (ESDF) which was established in 2006 to support the poorest families in the country, is pairing international and local businesses, enabling them to carry out strategic projects, now numbering 74 in operations. Thus far LD14bn ($11.4bn) has been allocated by the government to the fund and some significant investments have been made.

Key economic indicators Since 2005 Libya’s macroeconomic performance has been impressive. Non-oil real GDP growth averaged above 9% annually, driven by strong public, and private domestic and foreign investments.

Despite strong economic growth, inflation remained under control and averaged about 4.5% annually since 2005. Major gains were registered in the trade and service sectors as a result of the liberalization of external trade and the marked resumption of foreign tourism.

The prospects for continued growth in oil and gas production are supported by foreign and domestic investment. In 2010, oil production is expected to rebound to 1.84m bbl/day and oil and gas investment will almost double to LD2.2bn reflecting the enormous potential of the sector. Libya enjoys Africa’s second largest oil and gas reserves and ranks in the world’s top five on a per capita basis. Based on current production, reserves will last for more than 70 years. With most of Libya’s territory still untapped, there is a high potential for more oil and gas discoveries as evidenced by the six oil and gas field finds made in 2009 by international oil companies. International partners continue to have a very strong interest in the oil and gas sector.

Implementation of fiscal policy has been in line with the economy’s absorptive capacity. Also, longterm fiscal sustainability considerations are factored in the design of fiscal policy. Budget surpluses have been achieved every year since 2000 and the government has accumulated significant amounts of foreign assets. Going forward, to avoid fluctuations in public investment, the development budget has been prepared in a medium-term framework (2010-12). Oil price fluctuations will not impact the implementation of fiscal policy over the medium-term. All priority projects will be funded. This is achievable because of the government’s substantial assets, including an oil stabilization account at the CBL amounting to $21.2bn as well as about $65 billion in external assets held with the Libyan Investment Authority.


Libya – Diversifying the economy & promoting the private sector

28 /04/ 2010

Libya has been implementing a comprehensive reform program driven by the Government’s decision to move away from an ownership role in the economy to that of a prudent regulator. The entire economy is undergoing a restructuring, underpinned by widespread public support. The reform program—supported by technical assistance from international institutions and private consulting firms—aims at diversifying the economy away from oil and promoting the role of the private sector. Reflecting the shift in economic policies, a private investment boom is underway and the private sector’s share in the economy is growing at a rapid pace. Libya’s integration into the global economy took a further step forward in 2009 when both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch gave it an investment grade rating A-/stable/A-2 and BBB+/stable, respectively.

Prudent macro-economic and foreign exchange reserve management has shielded the economy from the recent global financial market turmoil. Since 2005, non-oil real economic growth has been strong and both the fiscal and current accounts balances have registered large surpluses. Non-oil growth continues to be broad based, benefiting from heightened foreign investor interest in the banking, services, infrastructure, and tourism sectors. Inflation remains under control and net external assets of Libya reached $138 billion at end-2009.

The last three years, banking sector have witnessed a major transformation of Libya’s banking infrastructure with privatizations, mergers, initial public offerings and opening of foreign banks. Out of the 16 commercial banks currently licensed in the country, 6 have strategic foreign partners. The entire banking system will be in private hands by 2011. A new central bank of Libya (CBL) structure has been finalized, it will strengthen the monetary policy framework and banking supervision; and establish a functional-based organizational structure. The many complex aspects of a national payments system are being put in place and a credit bureau started operations in April 2009.

Economic growth is expected to remain very strong over the medium-term driven by public, and private domestic and foreign investment. Both the budget and current account balances are expected to remain in surplus. All sectors of the economy are experiencing strong growth and most investments that are taking place in Libya have a public/private partnership. Many of the strategic private partners are international companies. All investments are made with a commercial objective and upon completion private companies will manage all projects. Demand for banking services is expected to increase significantly.

The favorable developments in Libya’s oil sector have contributed to a significant improvement in the external current account surplus which averaged about 40 percent of GDP annually since 2005. Hydrocarbon export earnings reached about $62 billion in 2008. Reflecting higher capital expenditures, imports have been increasing. Overall, total external assets of Libya surpassed $135 billion at end-2009.

The Libyan Stock Market enjoyed buoyant activity in 2009. The market started with five listed stocks that has more than doubled. It currently has a market capitalization that exceeds the LD1bn. There are 40 companies in the pipeline for public offerings over 2010-11. A new stock exchange law will facilitate registration, accelerate dispute resolution and probably increase foreign participation.

Considerable progress has been made in liberalizing and opening the economy, including implementing a comprehensive privatization program of state enterprises, simplifying procedures for business application, removing customs duties, liberalizing most prices, removing restrictions on external trade, and allowing foreign investment in key sectors. The reform process will be broadened and accelerated in the period ahead. The government is committed to these reforms.

Source :

39th Tripoli International Fair Opens, Promotes Global Partnership


The 39th edition of the Tripoli International Fair began Tuesday with about 1,000 Arab and international companies from 29 countries participation.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event, the Secretary of the Libyan General People’s Committee for Industry, Economy and Trade, Mohamed Hawaij, stressed the importance of the fair in promoting national economy.

Hawaij indicated that Tripoli International Fair, whether it is held in Tripoli or in another city, conveyed a civilized, economic, human and cultural message, aimed at developing global partnership for development and at bringing benefit in terms of new technologies.

According to him, Libya modernized its laws and legislation to establish social justice and partnership relations with countries across the world, with a view to implementing development projects towards the full integration of their economies in order to bring about renaissance in all fields.

He stressed that Libya was fighting to eradicate backwardness and poverty, given that budgets were allocated for the modernization of basic infrastructure in terms of airports, ports, roads, communication and telecommunications and designed plans to diversify its economy and in order not to rely solely on oil in years to come.

A Libyan Fairs official said the Tripoli International Fair was contributing to laying the foundations of successful partnerships in various areas, noting that it played a key and effective role and was a framework for various cultural encounters.

The fair, which will end 30 April, will be marked by the organization ofeNational Days of Tunisia, Algeria and Turkey and a forum on the Libyan-Tunisian strong partnership.

Companies from Libya, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, Turkey, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Malta, Serbia, Belarus, Ukraine, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, Yemen, Argentina, Pakistan, France, Niger, Ghana, Madagascar, Burkina Faso and Zambia are participating in the 39th edition of the Tripoli fair.

Source :

Gazprom, Eni Agree to Take Stake In Libya’s Elephant Field


Russian gas firm OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) said Monday it has agreed with Italy’s Eni SpA on conditions to take a stake in the Elephant oil project in Libya.

The talks between Gazprom and Eni were first made public in April 2008 and was part of an accord that the two companies signed in 2006 to cement their ties. No details were given of the deal, which was agreed at a meeting in Moscow on Monday between Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller and Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni.

The agreement will be finalized within a few days and presented to the Libyan government, Gazprom said.

Miller and Scaroni also agreed to start talks with French utility Electricite de France to join the South Stream gas pipeline project.

They also approved a plan to start production at their joint SeverEnergia unit in 2011.


Malta-Based Company to Operate Car Park in Tripoli


Malta-based CT Park Ltd has signed its first contract in Libya to operate the only public car park in the centre of Tripoli, a two-storey underground car park, which has a capacity of over 2,000 vehicles on two levels. It is situated below a public garden, which also has to be maintained by the company.

The car park is located in the middle of the Burj Al-Fateh, Dhat Al-Imad towers, the newly built Burj Buliala and The 370-room JW Marriott Hotel which will be opened in 2011.

This is the first of five car parks, still to be built, which will be run by CT Park (Libya) Ltd, a new company that won a tender to manage public parking in Tripoli.

CT Park Lt was set up in Malta in 2004 to focus primarily on the parking industry. Today it runs the major car parks in Malta. It has both local and foreign partners.

The tender agreement covers the supply of automated, state-of-the-art equipment and a full management agreement. The term is for five years with an option for a second five-year term.

CT Park’s Maltese chairman, Mr Kenneth De Martino said that when CT Park entered the market, there was a lot of scepticism on its viability since there was reluctance among the population to pay for parking, but now that the concept has been accepted, they wantd to take their experience to Libya to a city with three million people.

He said that early indications are that this will also meet the expected growth in demand for secure, convenient, centrally located parking.

CT Park Libya is to be run by Maltese management, based in Libya, with a local and technical workforce.

Source :

KFD, Exxon Mobil sign agreement to promote IT in Libya.

15/04 /2010

The Kadhafi Development Foundation (FKD) and the Exxon M obil Libya Limited, here on Tuesday signed an agreement to fund a programme aime d at promoting Information Technology (IT) in the remote regions of Libya.

Initiated by the Executive Director of FKD, Youssef Sawwanah, and the Director o f Exxon Mobil in Libya, Philippe Mos, the agreement aims at implementing a progr a mme to educate children in the IT field in the remote regions of the country.

Sawwanah told the press after the signing ceremony that the agreement came withi n the framework of the application of the principle of social responsibility by p rivate corporations, adding that the project would take off in Zouara City, west of Tripoli.

The project will also cover Central and Eastern parts of the country.

Source :

Libyan hotelier books UK listing

11/ 04/ 2010

A hotel group that counts the Libyan government among its shareholders is preparing for a £700m London flotation.

International Hotel Investments (IHI), which will reopen the former Metropole near Trafalgar Square this year, is being advised by Collins Stewart.

The company, which is already listed in Malta, is controlled by the Corinthia Group, set up by IHI chairman Alfred Pisani in 1962 and is co-owned by Libya’s state investment arm. Corinthia sold a one-third stake in IHI to Nakheel Hotels, the Dubai property group, for £150m in 2007.

Instead of selling out, investors are seeking to raise £100m to fund hotel development. It already has projects in Prague, Tripoli and Lisbon. Pre-tax profits in 2008 were £19.5m on sales of £112m.

IHI acquired the Metropole from the Crown Estate two years ago and is nearing the end of a £270m redevelopment.

If it chooses to press ahead with a flotation, it will join a flurry of overseas firms seeking to raise funds in London. Confidence is starting to return after a shaky start to the year that saw Travelport, New Look and Merlin Entertainments all postpone listings.

Avangardco, a Ukrainian egg company, recently announced plans to raise £132m, while Essar, the Indian conglomerate, hopes to raise £1.6 billion by listing its energy assets on the London exchange.


Turkish Martin&Martin Brokers Open Office in Libya


Martin&Martin Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Co. Inc. which is one of the successful organizations of independent insurance and reinsurance brokerage sector opened Tripoli office as its new station in Northern Africa.

With Tripoli office, Northern Africa regions have been also included in the wide service area of Martin&Martin covering Turkish Republics, Eastern Europe and CIS countries.

Martin&Martin Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Co. Inc. Board Chairman Can Ates said; “The Northern Africa region and especially Libya have a considerable value in the global business world with their structure open to investments.

A potential and favorite market not only for insurance world but also for all sectors. As Martin&Martin, we have considered Libya as a very important country where we want to be present.

Our Libya office which will also operate as “Northern Africa Regional Directorate” will offer services to other countries especially including Algeria as well. We will continue to add new points in our international strong network in the following period.”

The company services a large number of clients both in Turkey and abroad. Its corporate clients include more than 500 along with over 30.000 individual clients. With its specialized employees Martin&Martin assumes risk management of assets with a total value above $20 billion.

The company increases its flexibility in finding more rapid, more effective solutions to the needs of its various clients using the international network it has succeeded to establish with its partners.

Source :

Libya to Sell Stakes in Two Cell phone Firms


Libya plans to sell up to 40% of the country’s two mobile phone firms Libyana and al Madar, the chief executive of the bourse said, as the government moves to open its economy and attract foreign investment.

Suleiman Ashhoumy told reporters in an interview that the sell-off would give foreign and local investors an opportunity to own shares in the two phone companies and trade their shares on the Libyan bourse.

The flotation would start as soon as the state-controlled Privatisation and Investment Board has completed the financial assessment of the two firms, he added.

He was reported telling Reuters, that immediately after the end of that assessment, five percent stake of each of the two companies would be sold on the bourse. More sell-off of five percent share would follow in successive stages until we reach 30% or 40% stakes of these two firms, he said.

“We expect that the sell-off would start before the end of this year,” he added.

Libya launched its bourse in 2006, with 10 companies, mostly banks, now listed.

“Our main concern is to allow small investors to trade on the bourse and gain good returns. Libya’s market is an emerging and new one and needs successful and well-known firms that yield good results and incomes to investors,” he said.


Ghanem: Oil to Reach $90


Oil prices could hit $90 a barrel as early as next week spurred on by rising demand from the US, Libya’s top oil official said ahead of the release of a closely watched report on US stockpiles.

“I expect them to hit $90 and continue to go up a little more by next week,” Shokri Ghanem, Chairman of Libya’s National Oil Co. told Zawya Dow Jones by telephone on Wednesday.

“Demand is part of it, demand is increasing because the economy is improving and stocks are going down in America so we are expecting prices to increase soon,” he added.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, rose 10 cents to $86.94 a barrel.

Ghanem ruled out the need for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, to address the sharp rise in prices before its next scheduled gathering in October.

“There is no guarantee that this trend will continue for more than a week or two,” he said.

On Thursday, however, oil prices fell, dropping further away from recent 18-month highs as traders tracked lower stock markets, the strengthening dollar and growing US crude inventories.

Demand is part of it, demand is increasing because the economy is improving and stocks are going down in America so we are expecting prices to increase soon,” he added.

Oil prices were higher in Asian trade Wednesday. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, rose 10 cents to $86.94 a barrel.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, dropped 76 cents to 85.12 dollars a barrel, after spiking above 87 dollars on Tuesday.

London’s Brent North Sea crude for May fell 70 cents to 84.89 dollars.

Prices took a hit from the strong dollar, which makes dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies and therefore tends to dent demand.

The European single currency sank deeper against the dollar on Thursday amid persistent fears about Greece’s ability to overcome a massive debt crisis.

In early morning London deals, the euro tumbled as low as 1.3283 dollars — plumbing depths last seen on March 25.

Oil briefly hit a fresh 18-month high on Tuesday as the market found support from a batch of encouraging economic indicators in the United States.


Medco to Spend $40m on Oil Field Exploration in Libya


Indonesia’s publicly listed oil and gas company PT Medco Energi Internasional plans to spend US$40 million on exploration activities on an oil block in Libya this year.

Medco’s operational director Lukman Mahfoedz said that the block, called Area 47, would require as much as US$80 million for exploration activities this year which will be covered by both Libya and Medco.

In an earlier press statement, Medco said that the drilling program for this year will also include the completion and testing of three previously drilled wells, which were suspended.

Area 47 is estimated to have contingent reserves of 307 million barrels of oil. Earlier, Medco teamed up with Canada-based Verenex Energy Inc to develop the block with Verenex appointed as the operator. But, since December last year, the Libyan Investment

Authority (LIA) has acquired Verenex’s participating interest in the block. Following the acquisition of Verenex’s interest in the block, Medco was appointed as the block operator for exploration activity starting in April 1, 2010.

Medco said that the company and LIA were now in the final stages of seeking a declaration of commerciality from Libya’s National Oil Corporation for the discoveries made in the area. “The schedule for FID [Final Investment Decisions] is set to be made by 2011 and, afterward, we will carry on with the full development of the block,” Lukman said.

Lukman said that the block’s full production facilities would require investment of about US$800 million. The Libyan government will cover half of the required investment and the contractors, Medco and LIA, will cover the other half of the required figure, he added. “Of the contractor’s portion, Medco must contribute 50 percent of that,” Lukman said.(The Jakarta Post)


Libyan, Turkish Traders Review Partnership


The Libyan General Office for the transfer of ownership of companies (privatisation) and investment has said that about 160 Libyan-Turkish investment projects, to the tune of 3 billion Libyan dinars (about US$ 2.5 billion) are currently being executed in Libya.

The news was given during the second meeting of the Council of the Libyan-Turkish businessmen in Tripoli devoted to examining ways to establish a true partnership between companies from both countries.

The Council of Libyan Businessmen that was formed in 2006 has focused on developments experienced by Libya in all economic fields. It recalled that many economic laws enacted in Libya have contributed to promoting investment by offering opportunities and guarantees to both foreign and local investors.

The main aim of the board of Libyan-Turkish businessmen is to achieve the economic development through the promotion of trade and economic relations between the two countries.

The previous meeting of the committee has decided that nationals of the two countries would no longer need visas to enter the other country.

In the meantime, a Libyan-Turkish Forum under the theme “Partnership and Investment” is to be held shortly in Libya under the auspices of the Libyan General Authority for the transfer of ownership of companies and investment


Secretary of People’s Committee of Al-Fateh University says that the university adopted the remote education system.


The Secretary of People’s Committee of Al-Fateh University in Tripoli popular, the idea of distance education, adopted by the university stems from the vision put forward by Leader of the Revolution since the early eighties on the importance of dissemination of homeschooling.

secretary of the People’s Committee of the University said on Sunday to Jana news agency on the sidelines of launching the program of distance learning for master’s degree in financial management from the University of London (the idea of distance education, adopted by the Al-Fateh University in line with the vision of the Leader of the Revolution since the early eighties when he called for education domestic) ..

The Secretary of People’s Committee for University Dr. «El hadi Akremi» that the philosophy of distance education, is that the student receives his education in his country and his home without having to incur the fatigue of travel, exile, and bear the expenses of accommodation and subsistence .. Indicating that such education is fundamentally different from the traditional education system which needs to classrooms and a university professor. He added that this pedagogical approach aims to achieve the principle of freedom of education, and facilitate access to human knowledge and science without being attached to constraints of space and time and age, and reduce the suffering as a result of students moving to study sites and the consolidation of the principle of self-reliance. He explained that more than 45 students applied for the study after the University of London, majoring in financial management, were admitted 18 students of them, and will approach their studies since the day through the use of international information and communication for Mr. Supervisor and evaluation of their research and conducting exams through the network.

The Secretary of the People’s Committee of Al-Fateh University in conclusion that a number of professors from the University of London, are currently on a visit to the Al-Fateh University to meet students who were admitted to familiarize them with a way to study and communicate with the teacher, and how to conduct research and examinations. This is celebrated in the popular Al-Fateh University in Tripoli on Sunday with release of the study program for remote access to a master’s degree in financial management from the University of London on the occasion of celebrations of the Libyan universities, the thirty-fourth anniversary of the Revolution of students in the seventh of April.

The ceremony was attended by Secretary of the People’s Committee of Al-Fateh University, and Director of the Centre for Financial Studies and Management, University of London, and Deputy Director of the British Council in the Great Jamahiriya, and the Trustees of the People’s Committee of Colleges of Al-Fateh University, and Director of Graduate Studies at the University, members of the Committee of the Convention on the Universities of light and London, and students enrolled to study the program.

Libya Open for Investment, Officials


At Tripoli’s Mahary Radisson Hotel a major conference entitled ‘The Libya Business and Investment Summit – A land of challenges and untapped opportunities’ was held March 30-31 under the auspices of the Privatization and Investment Board (PIB).

The conference was notable for the quality of its top line speakers. The head of the PIB, Jamal Lamushe opened proceedings by announcing that Libya was open to investors from all over the world.

The General Secretary of Industry Economy and Commerce, Mohammed Hwaij, confirmed that Libya was open to all investors by stressing the recent steps taken to encourage investment even further. This included the seven new business-friendly laws announced recently – as reported on by the Tripoli Post.

‘What can we offer the investor?’ he asked. ‘There is no currency control, bureaucracy has been greatly reduced, and Libya needs to diversify it economy. We need the non-oil sector to become 40-60% of the economy from the present 73%. This means we need over the coming years an average annual growth rate of 8% to achieve this’, he replied. ‘We need 100,000 new jobs for locals every year. There is to be no distinction between foreign and local investors and between the public and private sector, especially with the newly announced laws ‘, the General Secretary pointed out.

‘We need training. The investor has a role in this, and we need modern management techniques

The PIB is to implement and follow up this knowledge and know-how transfer policy. There is to be no monopolies and we need to protect the consumer. We need to create complementary sectors as well as a service sector. The courts and arbitration system will guarantee the investors rights’, he concluded.

The Chairman of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), Farhat Bengdara on his part stressed that Libya is not in need of capital. ‘There is much capital available for investment projects. Projects will be financed up to 50%. Libya has gained much credibility as a stable investment destination’. He highlighted the recent liberalization of the banking sector and welcomed new banks into the Libyan economy in partnership with Libyan banks.

The head of the Tax Authority, Mr Bouaishi El-Lafi, stressed that the ‘role of taxation is vital in encouraging internal and external investment. We have tried to improve the role and efficiency of the tax department in order to give a better service. Every year the tax revenue has exceeded the anticipated budget since 2003’ which is a positive sign the General Manager explained.

The old tax law existed since 1923, but ‘did not reflect modern reality. The new tax law has many advantages. The new self assessment system and the cancellation of the ascending tax bands is one of the major advantages. For investors there is the possibility of zero-rated taxation on investment in underdeveloped regions. We are also opening a special office for investor companies for an express service’ the head of the Tax authority announced.

Juma Al-Usta, the head of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Libya was frank and to the point.

As representative of the private sector business community he pointed out that ‘we in the business community are not pleased with the rate of investment and we want even more reforms’.

He looked forward to more projects being announced and called for a more competitive banking sector. He stressed the need to curtail the black market economy in order to improve the business climate. ‘The visa issue and its effect on investors needs to be addressed openly and transparently, and the presence today of numerous top government officials here is a very good chance to discuss the various barriers to investment in Libya’, he stressed.

An issue that is a major concern for foreign investors is the local employment regulations with regard to employing Libyans. The speaker from the Manpower and Training department stressed that ‘the department has a new strategy for training and building up the human resource structure of Libya.

We see investors as partners ‘, he stressed, ‘not subsidizers of jobs. We do not need investors as wage providers. We need them in their capacity as knowledge and know-how transferors. We plan to train Libyan employees to improve their employability so that in itself becomes an advantage to investors’, he concluded.

The objectives of the conference are to attract new FDI to Libya with over 150 representatives of leading local and international companies.

‘This event is timed to Libya’s rapid economic progress, which is emerging as one of the new and major markets for infrastructure, utilities and energy projects. It is to promote at the highest level Libya as a regional hub both for Maghreb and Sub-Saharan markets’, the organizers Euroconvention Conferences informed.

Source :


29/03/ 2010

Libya lifted a visa ban on citizens of 25 European countries on Saturday after EU president in Spain said a Swiss-instigated visa blacklist against 188 Libyans in those countries had been scrapped.

The end to the visa ban and the Schengen zone blacklist will likely defuse a crisis that has threatened to damage growing business ties between Europe and oil exporter Libya.

“In the interests of strengthening its cooperation with the European Union, Libya lifts the restrictions it earlier imposed on the citizens of the Schengen zone,” Libya’s Foreign Ministry said in a communique carried by JANA, the state news agency.

Spain‘s foreign ministry had earlier issued a statement announcing the visa blacklist had been to ”Libya expresses its appreciation at the European Union for this move,” JANA quoted the Foreign Ministry statement as saying. ”This is a defeat for Switzerland by means of collective European action. Libya accepts the EU decision…”

Libya stopped issuing visas to citizens from the Schengen borderless travel zone in retaliation for Switzerland, a Schengen member, barring entry to 188 Libyan citizens including the country‘s leader Muammar Gaddafi and members of his family.

The Swiss move prevented the blacklisted Libyans from entering any of the other Schengen states because the terms of the Schengen agreement obligate all members to refuse visas to citizens of countries blacklisted by fellow Schengen nations.

The Schengen area is a borderless travel zone grouping 22 EU nations plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

The Spanish statement was issued after Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos arrived for talks in the Libyan town of Sirte, where Gaddafi is this weekend hosting a summit of the Arab League.

“All the names of the Libyan citizens included in the list of the Schengen information system have been removed,” the ministry said in a statement which it said came from Spain’s EU presidency.

“We regret and deplore the trouble and inconvenience caused to those Libyan citizens. We hope that this move will not be repeated in the future.”

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – whose country has some of Europe’s closest business ties to Libya and who has criticized the Swiss visa blacklist – was also in Sirte on Saturday as Gaddafi’s guest.

Switzerland has been locked in a diplomatic dispute with oil exporter Libya since July 2008, when police in Geneva arrested Hannibal Gaddafi, a son of the Libyan leader, on charges of mistreating two domestic employees.

In February Gaddafi urged jihad against Switzerland and earlier this month Libya slapped a trade embargo against Switzerland.

The charges were swiftly dropped and Hannibal Gaddafi was released, but Libya stopped oil exports to Switzerland and withdrew millions of dollars from Swiss banks.

The Swiss government is pushing for the release from prison of Max Goeldi, a Swiss businessman who was barred from leaving Libya soon after Hannibal Gaddafi‘s arrest. He is serving a four-month sentence for breaking immigration rules.

Libyan officials deny any connection between Goeldi‘s prosecution and Hannibal Gaddafi‘s arrest.

A senior Libyan official, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters on Friday that Goeldi would be freed “very soon.” Goeldi’s lawyer said if his client was to be released early it would happen after the summit ends on Sunday.

This content was commissioned for

Rixos Al Nasr Tripoli Opens to Guests

The hotel is the 12th Rixos property to open, and enjoys a prime location in the center of the Libyan capital.

Rixos Al Nasr Tripoli will offer paramount levels of Turkish hospitality and excellent customer service, for which Rixos Hotels have become internationally acclaimed.

Conveniently located only 35 km away from Tripoli airport, yet set in beautiful parkland amongst Libya’s native Eucaliptus trees, ultra-modern Rixos Al Nasr Tripoli is built over an expansive area of 20,000 square metres.

It was constructed to have minimal impact on the natual equilibrium of its surroundings, specially designed to be environmentally friendly.

The unique architectural design of the exclusive business hotel, beautiful grounds it is set in, and its greenery covered exterior lends Rixos Al Nasr Tripoli being reffered to as the ‘Living Hotel’.

Rixos Al Nasr Tripoli has 120 luxury rooms, including 2 King Suites, 32 Executive Suites, 8 Junior Suites, 5 Connected Family Rooms, 68 Standard Rooms, and a Handicapped Room.

This content was commissioned for

Hungarian Firm Wins Construction Contract in Libya


Hungarian contractor Nemzetközi Vegyépszer won a $413 million tender to build infrastructure and public facilities in Libya. The 40 month contract is scheduled to begin in the Q3 2010.

The main infrastructure package will see Nemzetközi Vegyépszer lay 600 kilometres of sewage pipes, 450 kilometers of water lines, build 600,000 square meters of sidewalks and provide lighting along 400 kilometers of roads.

Ample opportunities exist for foreign construction and infrastructure contractors, but sources inside Libya have said Western companies have been slow to seize them, paving the way for the likes of Nemzetközi Vegyépszer.

According to the Hungarian contractor, negotiations to expand its contract are under way. It said that tenders floated from the Libyan government could double its volume of work in the country. (Sourced from MEED)

This content was commissioned for

Swiss-Libyan row may be nearing an end


Spain‘s prime minister says diplomatic dispute could be resolved in the coming “hours or days”.

A diplomatic dispute between Switzerland and Libya that has prevented citizens of most European Union member states from travelling to the North African country could be nearing its end, Spain’s Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced in Brussels today.

Zapatero said at the end of a two-day summit of EU leaders that the dispute could be resolved “in the coming hours or days”. He said that Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Spain’s foreign minister, would travel to Libya tomorrow (27 March).

Yesterday, Switzerland lifted visa restrictions on at least 150 associates of Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, following a demand by the EU. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Switzerland’s foreign minister, had met Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, on Wednesday evening.

The Swiss government had imposed the restrictions in mid-February after Libya refused to release a Swiss businessman who was being held in retaliation against the brief detention of one of Qaddafi’s sons in Geneva in 2008.

Because Switzerland – which is not a member of the EU – is a part of the Schengen area of borderless travel, the Swiss ban meant that the Libyans on its blacklist were also barred from most EU member states. This prompted Libya to bar citizens from all states in the Schengen area, which encompasses most of the EU, from entering Libya.

Spain and Germany began mediating between the two countries shortly afterwards. Italy and Malta took Libya’s side and accused Switzerland of abusing the Schengen system and holding the EU hostage to a bilateral row.

“We are very pleased that restrictions have been lifted for Libyans in Schengen and we hope that Libya will lift without further ado restrictions on European citizens going to Libya,” Zapatero said today. He also expressed his hope that Max Göldi, the Swiss businessman, would be freed soon.

This content was commissioned for

TEPE Making Headway in Prefabricated Buildings in Libya


Starting from year 2007, TEPE Prefabricated Construction Industry Inc., is installing construction site buildings in Libya.

The first name coming to minds, since 1977 until today, in the field of prefabricated buildings in terms of “quality & trustworthiness”, TEPE has been given preference as a solution partner by leading Turkish construction companies in Libya.

Structures such as Prefabricated Site Camp Buildings and Steel Construction Pre-engineered Buildings becoming orders through highly flexible and quick “proposal / estimation”, “design”, “production and logistic” processes, are delivered locally, with extremely quick assembly, under control of TEPE’s experienced supervisors, in accordance with projects special requirements.

Buildings erected under TEPE’s warranty and assurance holds easy relocation features and can be demounted and easily mounted back repeatedly when required, with control of TEPE’s experienced supervisors.

GÜR, NUROL, YAAR ÖZKAN, AS-KA, SUMMA, FEKA, ÖZTA (2 projects), RÖNESANS, AKPINAR, SYSTEM (2 projects) are some of the international construction companies which had chosen TEPE as a solution partner supplier in projects that they have undertaken between 2007 and 2010.

In year 2010, Tepe is aiming to increase its ability to deliver infrastructured turnkey camps to international construction contractors based in Libya.

Structures such as; offices buildings, dining halls, social facility buildings, laboratories required for different mobilization phases of a simple worker dormitory to a well equipped 4 star hotel construction, will still be erected throughout Libya under TEPE’s quality and assurance.

TEPE Prefabricated Construction Industry Inc. will come together with its visitors at “Libya Build Exhibition 2010” from May 16th to May 20th, 2010.

This content was commissioned for

First 14 km of Libyan rail network in place


The first 14 km of track has been laid for the 554 km Surt – Benghazi railway, Russian Railways has announced. RZD is building the line parallel to the Mediterranean coast under a €2•2bn contract signed in April 2008, and President Vladimir Yakunin visited the construction sites on March 14 to meet Chairman of Libyan Railways Said Mohammed Rashid.

At present 438 people are engaged on construction, which is expected to take four years and will employ a total of 3 500 local and Russian workers.

‘This is the first transport sector project on such a scale in the history of the two countries’, said Yakunin.

‘Russian Railways, having a wealth of experience in carrying out such projects, is confident that it will meet the timeframe, while achieving a high level of quality.

The use of Russian-produced maintenance vehicles will help achieve this goal.
This project therefore provides Russian companies with the opportunity to enter new markets.’

Trains will initially run at 160 km/h, but the double track alignment makes provision for electrification to allow running at 250 km/h.

According to RZD the project includes 1 000 ‘artificial structures’, including 30 rail and 23 road bridges, and six major and 24 minor stations.

Separately, China Railway Construction Corp has contracts covering the 625 km west from Surt to Al Khums, Tripoli and Ras Ejder on the Tunisian border, and an 800 km link inland from Misratah to iron ore deposits near Sabha. (Source: Rail Way Gazette)

This content was commissioned for

Libyan Railroad Officials Hold Talks with Chinese Company Constructing Two Major Projects


The chairman of the Libyan railroad authority Mr. Said Rashid held meeting on Tuesday with the CEO of China Civil Engineering and Architecture company Company that is currently constructing two major railroad projects in Libya.

The meeting was mainly to follow up on the work of the company in the two projects.

The Chinese company is undertaking the constructing of Sirte-Ras Jdair railroad with the length of 650 kms and reach to the Libyan border with Tunisia. The other project is the line between Sirte and Hisha in the south at 810 kms that reach deep into the Fizan region.

The contracts of these two projects were signed in February 2008.

This content was commissioned for

Ghanem: Equal Treatment for Oil Companies, No OPEC Quota Change


All international energy firms will be given equal opportunities to work in Libya, Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Shukri Ghanem said on Monday. “We are going to give a chance to every international oil company, whether they are from East or West,” Ghanem said. “There is no difference between companies.” Speaking at an Oil and Gas Libya conference in Tripoli last Monday, Ghanem said OPEC still did not have a clear enough picture of the world economic outlook to be able to change its targets. “Do not expect any decision on decreasing or increasing at the OPEC meeting next week,” Ghanem told the conference.

Ghanem said the global oil market is oversupplied and OPEC will not change production quotas when its members next meet in Vienna on March 17. “before considering an increase or a cut in production, (existing) quotas should be respected,” Ghanem told reporters.

This content was commissioned for


11/03/ 2010

Honeywell Libya Technical Engineering Joint Stock Company to Offer Process Solution Technology and Services to Libyan Oil & Gas and Refining Companies

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) today announced that it has formed a Libyan company – Honeywell Libya Technical Engineering Joint Stock Company – together with its joint venture partner Rida Technical Services. The new company, to be known as Honeywell Libya JV, will provide process automation technology and services to local organizations and is the first automation joint venture between a global company and a Libyan company. Honeywell Libya JV has been registered with Libya’s Ministry of Economy and will be based in Tripoli.

Honeywell has made significant investment in its North African operations. North Africa is strategically important for Honeywell with its abundance of natural resources and established oil and gas production and refining sectors. In Libya, Honeywell Libya JV will provide local customers with an unprecedented level of support and service.

“Honeywell Libya JV will help satisfy increasing demand within Libya for process automation that increase safety, reliability and efficiency, particularly among companies in the oil and gas and refining sectors,” said Edwin van den Maagdenberg, vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Honeywell Process Solutions EMEA. “Our new joint venture with Rida Technical Services brings together the best of local and global know-how and expertise, and together we will invest in the local economy to transfer knowledge and build our skills base. We are pleased to be entering the Libyan market and intend to be present for years to come.”

Honeywell International ( is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges.  For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit Honeywell Process Solutions is part of Honeywell’s Automation and Control Solutions group, a global leader in providing product and service solutions that improve efficiency and profitability, support regulatory compliance, and maintain safe, comfortable environments in homes, buildings and industry. For more information about Process Solutions, access

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of fact, that address activities, events or developments that we or our management intend, expect, project, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s assumptions and assessments in light of past experience and trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other relevant factors. They are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those envisaged by our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements are also subject to risks and uncertainties, which can affect our performance in both the near- and long-term. We identify the principal risks and uncertainties that affect our performance in our Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source :

Advertising, Marketing, Printing Fair to Open 8 March


Aside from the oil and construction industry, other branches of business are also on the rise around Tripoli, and to represent their field the 4th Tripoli Fair for Advertising, Printing, and Marketing as organized to bring together companies and organizations, both internationally and locally, that are interested in the said three markets.

Officially opening on March 8, TIFA 2010 will be running for four days at the Metiga Airport Hall, concentrating on how companies can exchange technology and new innovations for the improvement of promoting Libyan businesses. More than 100 companies from 21 countries around the world will be taking part in the event, where in they will not only exhibit their products and services. Business to business meetings will also be arranged, as well as social programs such as commercial presentations where in participating companies will present what they can share from new technology to machines associated with advertising and marketing.

In the said fair exhibitors from the different aspects of the theme include PR training, promoting the company, to all aspects of advertising such as new technology in business signage, banners, and graphic design for ads. Of course the printing industry involved in the final output of the ads will also be taking part in the fair, including printing presses and graphic technology.

TIFA 2010 also hopes that the international participants in the said event will be able to contribute some of their knowledge and know-how to the Libyan counterparts that they will be connecting with the event.

The organizer’s hopes that they will be able to assist in improving Libya’s service culture as it marches into a more globally competitive country. “The goal is to bring the know-how, distribute culture, and exchange ideas.” This according to Engr. Anwar Elmezwaghi, Director and GM of Waha Expo, organizers of the TIFA 2010, and how they hoping that the participants will be able to bridge each other’s knowledge to benefit Libya.

Other exhibitors participating in the fair include business in banners and posters, design and printing services, digital printing and imaging, electronic signage and message centres, PR companies, and printing press services.

This Content was commissioned for

Infrastructure Exhibit and Oil and Gas Conference to run in Tripoli International Fairground


Addressing Libya’s Infrastructure as well as the oil and gas industry, two events will simultaneously open to bring together local and international companies and organizations associated with the said sectors. Infrastructure Libya and Oil and Gas Libya will both officially open at the Tripoli International Fairground and will be running from March 8 to 11.

Oil and gas Libya 2010 is the 3rd Libyan International Petroleum Exploration, production, Refining and Petrochemicals Exhibition; as a way to attract foreign direct investment in the petroleum sector as well as in refining and petrochemicals.

The event will hold conference programs that will tackle key topics, aside from the exhibits, regarding Libya’s oil and gas sector. The opening will be led with a welcome address by H E Dr Shukri Ghanem, Chairman of the National Oil Corporation. Aside from the National Oil Company (NOC), speakers from major international oil companies will also be featured in the forums such as Shell and ExxonMobil.

Other topics that will be discussed in different sessions include a Focus on the Future of Gas in Libya and Environmental Protection.

The event hopes to create market opportunities not only in the oil and gas sector but in other related fields as well, such as in refining, petrochemicals, pipelines, training services and facilities. Infrastructure Libya on the other hand, “addresses Libya’s immediate priorities in terms of technological needs for the country’s infrastructure renewal and development,” as stated in the event’s official website. Although it will be purely an exhibit, unlike the Oil and Gas which will hold conferences and forums, Infrastructure Libya boasts of an all embracing exhibit profile which includes exhibitors in building and construction, transport and communication, water and environment, power and electricity, as well as safety and security and the agri-industry.

The exhibit hopes to gather interested parties in both public and private sectors involved in infrastructure, planning, and project implementation. And as all trade fairs and exhibits, the event hopes to bridge and create opportunities involved in manufacturing, importing, and trading.

During the previous organizing of such events, 4156 visitors came to during the event’s four day run, this year 170 companies will be participating from 20 companies from all over the world.

This content was commissioned for

Libya warns U.S. energy firms over diplomatic row


TRIPOLI – Libya’s top oil official on Thursday summoned the local heads of top U.S. energy firms to tell them a diplomatic row with Washington could hurt U.S. businesses in Libya, the state oil company said.

Libya is demanding Washington apologize after a U.S. official made caustic comments about Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and the warning to oil firms was the clearest signal yet that Tripoli was prepared to escalate the dispute.

At stake are billions of dollars invested by U.S. firms that flocked to Libya — home to Africa’s largest proven oil reserves — after a U.S. trade embargo was lifted in 2004.

Shokri Ghanem, Libya’s most senior energy official and head of its state National Oil Corp., summoned executives from ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Occidental, Hess and Marathon.

“He informed these companies of the resentment at the irresponsible statements made by a State Department spokesman to the media,” NOC said in a statement.

The U.S. official who made the remarks about Gadhafi “does not know that such statements will have a negative impact on U.S. companies operating in Libya,” it said.

The statement said the executives at the meeting expressed regret over the U.S. spokesman’s remarks and said they would inform Washington “that such remarks would hurt oil interests for U.S. companies.”

Tripoli’s anger was provoked by a comment from State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley last week. He was talking to reporters about a speech by Gadhafi in which the Libyan leader called for a “jihad,” or Islamic holy struggle, against Switzerland.

The spokesman said the speech reminded him of an address Gadhafi made last year, which he said had involved “lots of words and lots of papers flying all over the place, not necessarily a lot of sense.”

After Tripoli complained about his remarks, Crowley said he had not meant them as a personal attack, but he stopped short of offering the apology demanded by Libya.

Libya’s ambassador to the United States, Ali Aujali, said Gadhafi did not mean armed struggle when he called for a jihad.

“It is a call for (an) economic and commercial boycott against Switzerland, this is true, but it doesn’t mean by any means that it is an armed struggle,” Aujali told Reuters.

“We are very serious about our relations with the United States based on respect and national interest but . . . we will not permit (the) insulting of our citizens, our leader,” the ambassador added.

U.S. aircraft bombed Tripoli in 1986 after Washington blamed Libya for a bomb attack on a West Berlin discotheque, one of several low points in relations between Libya and the United States since Gadhafi came to power in 1969.

When Libya renounced banned weapons programs, Washington restored diplomatic ties and dropped a trade embargo.

Since then business ties have been growing fast. In 2003, the United States exported $200,000 US worth of goods to Libya and imported nothing. By 2009, exports to Libya had surged to $666 million and imports to $1.9 billion.

“We are having good, serious relations, We are having American investments in our country and I don’t want that this relationship of the last five years to be hurt,” Aujali said.

But bullishness among Western investors has been tempered by a fierce diplomatic row that began as a quarrel with Switzerland but has since expanded to set Tripoli at odds with several European countries and now the United States.

The problem started in July 2008 when police in Geneva arrested Gaddafi’s son Hannibal at a luxury lakeside hotel on charges of mistreating two domestic employees. They were later dropped.

The row took on a Europe-wide dimension last month when Libya stopped issuing visas to citizens of the Schengen zone, a passport-free travel zone that includes Switzerland and most European Union countries.

Libya on Wednesday also imposed a trade embargo on Switzerland. That step was unlikely to have much practical impact as the two countries’ trade ties are minimal, but it signalled Tripoli had no intention of backing down.

This content was commissioned for

Unknotting Father’s Reins in Hope of ‘Reinventing’ Libya


RIPOLI, Libya — Prying open a closed economy is no easy job, especially if the country in question is Libya — a nation that has spent more than two decades with its back turned to the world. It becomes all the more challenging when doing so means taking on the legacy of your father and fighting an entrenched bureaucracy with little interest in serious change. Yet that is the goal of Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the son and possible successor to Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, as he sets out to dismantle a legacy of Socialism and authoritarianism introduced by his father 40 years ago. “It is hard work reinventing a country,” he said in an interview last month, as he slouched on a sofa in his villa in the hills above Tripoli, picking at a tray of fruit including fresh dates brought to him by a black-suited waiter. “But that is what we are doing. We will have a new constitution, new laws, a commercial and business code and now a flat tax of 15 percent.” In the last few years, Mr. Qaddafi, 37, who has a doctorate from the London School of Economics, flawless English and a bold independent streak, has emerged as the Western-friendly face of Libya and symbol of its hopes for reform and openness. When he was nominated last year to lead a powerful government body overseeing tribal leaders, analysts saw it as a sign of his father’s endorsement. But in Libya’s opaque politics, little is seldom as it appears. And it is far from clear to what extent the younger Mr. Qaddafi’s vision is official policy or wishful dreaming. Despite his broad international appeal and evidence of popular support at home, analysts say that resistance to his pell-mell approach to modernization appears to be building. Recently the government curtailed the operations of two crusading newspapers he backed. His entreaties for Western investment were undercut last month when the government imposed a visa ban on more than 20 European countries hoping to do business here. And the old, bellicose Libya seemed to hold sway last week when Colonel Qaddafi escalated a running feud with Switzerland by declaring a “jihad” against it. The developments have bolstered the view that the hard-line faction championed by Seif Qaddafi’s equally ambitious older brother, Mutassim, the country’s national security adviser, was gaining ground. “A lot of people have jumped on Seif’s bandwagon as if he were the future of Libya,” said Dana Moss, a Libya expert and the author of a forthcoming monograph on United States-Libya relations. “But that is not clear yet. In a future Libyan system both Seif and Mutassim will have a say, but the question is who will have more of a say.” Since Libya agreed to renounce its nuclear weapons, an initiative led by Seif Qaddafi, and began to mend ties with the West in the last decade, experts predicted that the opening of the economy would soon follow, spurred by privatization and an influx of foreign investment beyond the presence of international oil companies. Those expectations were buoyed last October when Seif Qaddafi was proposed to lead the umbrella grouping of local leaders, a position that would give him, like his brother, a voice in the government and an official platform to further his reform agenda. But months later, he has yet to accept the job. In his first public comments on the subject in London in January, Seif Qaddafi said that until Libya adopted democratic institutions he would stay on the political sideline. “I will not accept any position unless there is a new constitution, new laws and transparent elections,” he said. “Everyone should have access to public office. We should not have a monopoly on power.” Instead, he has continued his high-wire act, using his status to occasionally challenge his father’s ways — pushing for openness, opposing the ubiquitous revolutionary committees, allowing human rights critics into the country — while trying to retain his viability as his father’s successor. Some analysts see his reluctance to enter government as a calculated strategy to retain the aura of an outsider, to rise above the political infighting just as his father did in 1972 when he removed himself from government and adopted the title Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution. Free of bureaucratic restraints, Seif Qaddafi has been able to propose far-reaching ideas: tax-free investment zones, a tax haven for foreigners, the abolition of visa requirements and the development of luxury hotels. “We can be the Dubai of North Africa,” he said, citing Libya’s proximity to Europe (the flight from London to Tripoli is under three hours), its abundant energy reserves and 1,200 miles of mostly unspoiled Mediterranean coastline. In the den of his villa, where a stuffed white tiger lay in watchful repose, a fountain gurgled peaceably nearby and the air was thick with incense, the idea seemed plausible. Libya is wealthier than debt-ridden, oil-poor Dubai. Its $15,000 gross domestic product per person ranks it above Poland, Mexico and Chile, according to the World Bank. The government’s sovereign fund, a reserve of oil revenues, boasts $65 billion. And the government has announced plans to invest $130 billion over the next three years to improve infrastructure. But a descent into the center of Tripoli offers a bracing dose of reality. The streets are strewn with garbage, there are gaping holes in the sidewalks, tourist-friendly hotels and restaurants are few and far between. And while a number of seaside hotels are being built, the city largely ignores its most spectacular asset, the Mediterranean. Unemployment is estimated as high as 30 percent and much of the potential work force is insufficiently trained. “The whole country looks like a construction site,” said Mustafa Fetouri, a political analyst based in Tripoli. “But it is developing and growing Libya’s people, that is the real problem. We are not Dubai.” Libya’s market economy remains more aspirational than real. On a recent weekday morning at the nascent Tripoli stock exchange, 10 or so brokers sat looking blankly at their screens while a handful of customers waited languorously nearby. Ten companies trade on the exchange, which says it does $400,000 worth of business on an average day. “The cost of running the stock market is more than the daily trading volume,” said Shokri M. Ghanem, the chairman of the National Oil Corporation, the state oil company. That scene is unlikely to change until the government releases its tight grip on the economy. But Mr. Ghanem, a former prime minister who supports efforts to open the economy, said the political resistance was formidable and has been bolstered by the world financial crisis. The same oil wealth that would finance Seif Qaddafi’s vision has propped up an entrenched elite vigorously opposed to reform. “There are certain people high up in the government that are against privatization, even though a majority of Libyans wish to go for a market economy,” Mr. Ghanem said. That majority includes people like Muhammad Younes, 35, a mechanical engineer in Tripoli who has not had a steady job for years. Libya may be wealthy, but he has nothing to show for it, despite his fluent English and a university education. “No work, no chances, no job,” he said with a fatalistic shrug. “Yet we have so much money. Something must be wrong.”

This Content was commissioned for

Turkish Floating Fair Docks in Tripoli


A trade fair with a different approach, Bluexpo 2010 docked at the port of Tripoli opening last February 22 to the next day, to bring to Libya Turkish companies with their products and services specializing in the construction industry. The floating fair, organized and marketed by ADG Trade Fairs on behalf of the Republic of Turkey brought together 49 companies to exhibit their products and services in a unique and different setting, on a modern ship that will go around key destinations in North Africa. Exhibitors of Bluexpo include companies and services in the construction equipment and building machinery, decoration and home textile, furniture and supplier, and in the automotive and spare parts industry. And as in all trade fairs, the event aims to create a bridge of opportunities towards the participant’s counterparts in Libya. Heading the ribbon cutting, Ambassador of Turkey, led the visitors of the event which included importers, distributors, dealers, investors, and contracting companies, as well as architecture/engineering and consulting companies. Tripoli is only Bluexpo’s second stopping at Alexandria in Egypt for two days last February 18. After Libya, the floating fair will head to Algeria on February 26, and to Casablanca on March 1 before returning to Istanbul. Late this year, the Bluexpo fair will continue its route towards the middle east, docking from as far as Oman to Kuwait.

US Trade Delegation in Libya after 37 Years


An American business delegation made a three-day visit to Libya hoping for finding business and sell equipment and services in the growing Libyan market. The visit took place between 20-23 February. The American delegation was led by Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale who spoke at the opening ceremony. Mis. Lamb-Hale, the recently confirmed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services, in her opening remarks thanked the Libyan Government, the Libyan Chamber of Commerce, the US Embassy, and the American companies for making this historic visit possible. She said the Executive Trade Mission marks a new chapter in the relationship between the United States and Libya and that it will help to strengthen our economic, trade, and cultural ties. Secretary of Trade Mr. Mohammad Hawaij attended the gathering along with other top Libyan officials representing the GPC for Foreign Liaison and other branches. The American business delegation held talks discussions with the Libyan Businessmen Council and discussed business opportunities and potential joint ventures between Libyan and American companies in the future.

This content was commissioned for

UK and Libya Sign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement

18 /01/ 2010

On 23 December, Sir Vincent Fean, Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Libya and Ahmed Ali Jarrud, Director of the European Affairs Department at the Libyan Foreign Ministry signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in Tripoli.

On 23 December, Sir Vincent Fean, Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Libya and Ahmed Ali Jarrud, Director of the European Affairs Department at the Libyan Foreign Ministry signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in Tripoli.

Sir Vincent welcomed the Agreement, saying – “Recent years have seen a strengthening of trade and investment links between the UK and Libya. These links benefit both of our countries, stimulating economic growth and providing jobs. I predict that this trend will continue, as more and more British firms develop their interests in Libya, and the Libyan Investment Authority increases its portfolio in the UK. This agreement will promote new investment by giving British and Libyan investors the confidence of knowing that their investments are protected by internationally recognised standards”.

Key elements of the IPPA include provisions for equal and non-discriminatory treatment of investors and their investments, compensation for expropriation, transfer of capital and returns and access to independent settlement of disputes.

Before the Agreement comes into force, ratification processes will have to be completed in Libya and the United Kingdom.

This content was commissioned for

Libya’s Billions in Search of Projects

06 /01/ 2010

Libya is moving fast to catch up with oil-rich Gulf nations that have set up lucrative investment funds to acquire assets around the world. However, Libya’s entry into the global investment community is not new. Its first and probably most known fund, the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico) was already set up some 28 years ago.

Today the country has six such investment instruments. They are the Libyan Investment Authority, the Economic & Social Development Fund, the Social Security Investments Fund, the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, the Libyan African Investments Company, and the Libyan Foreign Investments Company.

But what makes this industry interesting is the fact half of these funds were set up after 2005, as an effort for Libya to channel its oil revenue into foreign markets. The latest such funds are the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, which has a capital of $8 billion but is headquartered in Switzerland. The Economic and Social Development Fund was established to manage the money allocated by the central authorities to the Libyan people within Kaddafi sponsored oil revenue sharing program. Finally the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is a holding that supervises and oversees all investment funds and controls between 50% and 75% of the $135 billion managed by the nation’s funds. The fund is getting bigger each year since Libya’s policy to automatically channel a portion of the country’s oil revenues. For a small country like Libya, one would thing the investment fund sector is saturated. Not for the Libyans. Today, Investment Authority and the Central Bank are teaming up to set up yet another fund.

With a growing clout and expanding resources, it is no surprise that the Libyans are getting a lot of attention from those seeking money, and the French are the first ones knocking at the door. The French business development agency Ubifrance, acting on behalf of French corporation has been rather proactive courting the Libyan fund managers. On June 15, 2009 it organized a forum to enable meetings between the Libyans and French executives.

The Libyans are establishing these funds apparently to avoid a piling up of foreign currency reserves above and beyond a reasonable level to manage inflation and erratic currency exchange fluctuations. Instead, they are now keen on spending their money in joint projects and equity acquisition. Many key projects in Europe, Africa, Latin American and even Libya have already been finalized and others in their final planning phases. For instance, the Libyan African Investments Company has recently purchased the Tunisian hotel chain Abou Nawas and is now looking partners to build another luxury hotel in Tripoli and another partner to operate two gold mines in Eritrea. In neighboring Tunisia, the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company has been active there since its inception in 1981 with it acquired equity in the Tourgueness Corporation, now a majority owner.

This content was commissioned for

Libya’s Still Painful Integration to the World


There was a clear reminder this week that Libya remains a country full of pitfalls for foreigners (western or non). In an all too common scene, witnessed so many times during the drawn out trial and appeal of the Bulgarian nurses throughout most of the past decade, a Libyan court has postponed the trial of two Swiss businessmen, who have been detained in Libya since July 2008.
The two men have been charged with unspecified immigration and tax evasion crimes; they have found refuge in the Swiss Embassy. Relations between Libya and Switzerland have deteriorated sharply since that time in 2008, when the Swiss police detained Hannibal al-Qadhafi, the Libyan leader’s son, for physically attacking one of his domestic servants during a trip to Switzerland. Swiss citizens Max Goeldi and Rachid Hamdani were arrested in Tripoli, two days after Hannibal and his wife were released from two days of custody in Geneva police station after being charged with beating their servants.

Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi expects to be treated like an important political leader, and Libya as an important power, wherever he travels and any measures taken against highly visible Libyan citizens or interests are considered an affront on the country’s dignity and honor. Libya’s abundant hydrocarbon resources, of course, are the buttress that allows the regime to act despondently.

The optimism that had been brewing since late 2003, when Libya adopted a far more pragmatic foreign policy aimed at attracting foreign investment to help further develop its oil industry and diversify the economy has been blemished by the ‘Swiss’ incident. Indeed, the incident adds some credit or foresight to the way the Scottish government handled the compassionate release of, last August. Despite the outcry in the UK (and especially the United States), and the many explanations proffered, including those in Newnations, it is clear that had al-Megrahi died in a Scottish prison, the Libyan government would have reacted against British interests and citizens in the country. In a sense, Libya’s newly found pride has adopted a vindictive nature that is getting in the way of pragmatism.

The Swiss debacle also indicates there are some cracks appearing within the regime of col. Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi. While the Libyan leader’s son Hannibal has earned a reputation for being an international man of nuisance (he allegedly destroyed a London hotel room on new Year’s eve), his other son Saif ul-Islam, who would seem to be the likeliest successor to Libya’s leadership, has been cultivating a far more positive international image (more on that in the next issue of The North Africa Journal).

In early December, Saif-ul Islam sponsored an unprecedented conference on Libya’s human rights record, which featured the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW). During the tormented appeals process for the Bulgarian nurses, Saif ul-Islam had publicly stated that the blame for the infection of 400 children with AIDS at a Benghazi hospital lay with the inadequacy of Libyan infrastructure and poor hospital management. Saif ul Islam does not have an official government role and he faced considerable opposition from the anti-reform minded Revolutionary Committees.

Saif ul Islam has clearly emerged as one of the main promoters of openness, along with his ‘protégé’ Shokry Ghanem (the director of the National Oil Company and former prime minister). Some security service staff attended the press conference and arranged for some members in the audience to heckle the speakers.The human rights conference brought into the open the tensions that exist between Saif,

This Content was commissioned for

HP to Expand in Libyan Market

02 /11/2009

On November 4th, 2009, US tech giant HP announced its plan to establish new sales and support subsidiaries in Angola and Libya by 2010. By doing so, HP will increase its footprint across Africa to nine subsidiaries (Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tunisia).

Our take: This once again demonstrates Libya’s intention to open up to foreign investments. Foreign tech companies like Nokia, LG, Samsung, Huawei, Alcatel Lucent, Nokia and Ericsson, already have a strong presence in Libya. We expect other leading foreign companies to make inroads into the Libyan market, especially now that Libya recently invited bids by foreign companies to provide private cell phone and landline services to increase the level of competition in the Libyan wireless market, drive innovation, but most importantly fuel the wireless growth in the country.

For HP, opening new sales and support subsidiaries in Libya does not come as a surprise as Libya is a key IT/wireless strategic market in North Africa. It is also one of the most advanced wireless markets in Africa. Last September, Libyan carrier Al Madar announced its plan to adopt LTE, bypassing 3G completely. JBB Research recently published an analysis on this. To learn more about it, click here. This should help HP reinforce its leadership in the African IT market as HP claims to be the number one vendor in Industry Standard Servers, management software, PCs and printers, and a leading vendor in the networking, storage and the services market.


Opinion: Time for Quality in Libyan Education
By Sami Zaptia


This week Tripoli hosts Education Libya 2009, the 6th Annual International Education Exhibition at Tripoli Inter-national Fairgrounds from 19-21 October. The event is supported by the General People’s Committee for Education and Scientific Research, the General Infor-mation Authority, Educational Aids Auth-ority, Al-Fatah University and the Aca-demy of Graduate Studies.

The exhibition coincides with the publication this month of the British newspaper, the Times, of its annual list of top universities of the world. UK and US universities as usual dominate the list with no Arab or African universities present in the top 200. This is despite all the resources that are spent by oil rich countries such as Libya and the Gulf states.

The well-known study of Libya conducted by the NES and Professor Porter’s Monitor Group identified IT, management and language skills as the main areas Libya needed to urgently improve in order to upgrade the global competitiveness of the Libyan economy.

The report considered education as ‘a vital driver of competitiveness’ that Libya seeks desperately in its various sectors as it seeks to diversify away from oil and gas.

However, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 Libya is ranked 88th out of 132 – scoring in the bottom one-third in all important education/training/skills indicators.

This low ranking is despite the fact the NES/Monitor study reporting that Libya spends approximately 4% of GDP on education – averaging between LD 1.2-1.9 billion per year, over the past five years.

That Libya is spending on education, there is no doubt. For example, according to the UK Trade & Investment team of the British Embassy in Tripoli, ‘the (Libyan) Ministry of Education allocate over 6,000 scholarships for study in the UK every year, worth over £100 million to UK Universities in fees. They also spend a further £200 million per year on UK educational products and services’.

There are more Libyan undergraduates studying in the UK than from any other Arab country: remarkable, given that Libya’s population is just over 6 million. More than 7,500 Libyan students are in the UK at any one time in higher and further education or studying.

Equally, according to Gene Cretz, Ambassador of the United States to Libya, in a speech at Cornell University on October 7, “Nearly 1,700 Libyans are currently studying in the U.S. and the American government intends to work with its Libyan counterpart to increase that number to 6,000”.

Yet despite the large amounts of money being spent on education, the quality of educational outputs is still deemed very low by those working in Libya.

Companies complain that job applicants despite what looks like a good CV on paper still have serious skills gaps.

It is quite clear that much more reform is needed with a stress on quality and standards. This is vital for Libyan students to perform at the competitive level in the private sector work place.

The Libyan authorities are acutely aware of this need to raise quality and standards at universities. At the first Ordinary Meeting of the National Universities Committee of the GPC for Education & Scientific Research held on April 15 this year, the General Secretary announced that the forthcoming university academic year should be’ the year of quality in Libyan universities’.

And on the 7th of this month the Head of the National Committee of Libyan Universities met with the managers of the Universities’ Standards and Quality Performance managers to review the measures to be executed this forthcoming academic year in view of the fact that ‘the 2009-2010 academic year is the year of quality at universities’.

The head of the Universities Committee stressed the need to ‘present a programme for the certification of university departments to the Centre for Quality As-surance and Accreditation’ (

“The main aim of Libya’s higher education strategy is to set up a knowledge-based Libyan society and promote science-based industrial development,” Gibril Eljrushi, Dean of the Engineering Faculty at the 7th October University in Misurata, told University World News.

Eljrushi confirmed that among the strategy’s numerous projects are the establishment of a National Authority for Scientific Research (NASR) and a Centre for Quality Assurance and Accreditation (CQAA).

“The strategy also includes a $72 million project to use information and communications technologies to reform the higher education and scientific research system, which has the potential to become a model for the proper integration of ICTs in education and science, particularly in African and other developing countries,” Eljrushi said.
Therefore on the eve of the start of the new university academic year across all Libya, we hope that the Libyan education authorities continue to stress the need for quality educational inputs and outputs in order to improve Libya’s global competitiveness.
Only by stressing quality can Libya hope to perform on the very competitive world stage if it is to succeed in creating new competitive sectors. If Libya is to succeed in diversifying its economy away from oil and gas by creating ‘competitive advantages’ in such sectors as tourism, transit and re-export hubs, becoming a commercial gateway to Africa and the Maghreb – it needs quality.

Works on Palm City Project Almost Completed

Works on Palm City Residences, the Maltese and Kuwaiti-owned luxury development in Libya, are now nearing completion as Mediterranean Investments Holding p.l.c. (MIH) gears up for the official inauguration of the project within four to five months.
Palm City, which is located on the pristine coastline of Janzour, is the first project to offer five-star, long- term accommodation in Libya and the residences have already secured a substantial amount of tenants.
Mr Reuben Xuereb, Managing Director of MIH told The Tripoli Post: “Works at Palm City have maintained their positive momentum and we are in the process of hosting clients for on-site visits.”
He went on to say that the area surrounding the development in Janzour – 15 kilometres away from the Libyan capital – has been totally transformed with roads, paving and landscaping.
With a mid-to-late summer inauguration on the cards and a good number of the residences furnished and soon ready-to-move into, the first tenants are expected to move in shortly.
The tenants will include a variety of companies from diverse sectors. There is a healthy mixture of oil companies, financial services, insurances and banks, education, embassies, construction companies and the like.
Palm City Residences are normally leased out to corporate companies, which in turn, make this accommodation available to their employees during their work assignment in Libya.
Mr Xuereb enthusiastically explained that Palm City has all the facilities and more to keep professional lives running smoothly, “but it also offers accommodation in Libya with a real sense of home,” he said.
Structural works and internal finishing, including tiling, apertures and internal and external doors, have been completed in 95% of Palm City residences.
Designed to high standards, the self-contained residential community is fast becoming the preferred residential address for the numerous expatriate families living in Libya.
When completed, Palm City will be a complex comprising of 413 residential units with a multitude of supporting leisure and entertainment facilities including a private sandy beach served with two restaurants and a central piazza that will act as the focal point for the community where people meet, shop, and see to most of their daily needs.
Each property has extensive multimedia facilities including wireless Internet and satellite TV in the living rooms and master bedrooms. Designer kitchens and bathrooms are standard and come equipped with every accessory.
Living areas are roomy and combine open planning with intimate spaces. Storage is impressive for leasehold accommodation with wall-to-wall units masterfully concealed in bedrooms and utility areas.

With climate and social spaces at a fore in the design, all Palm City units offer large, versatile outdoor living areas in comparison with their overall footprint. Villas and bungalows have landscaped gardens with pool and decking areas and offer unspoilt and open sea views. Two- and three-bedroom apartments and studios have ample terrace and/or balcony areas.
We could see that all the low-rise houses are semi-detached so as to allow for light and airy interiors. Duplex penthouses and maisonettes have the advantage of roof gardens in addition to spacious terraces so residents can make the most of outdoor living throughout the day and to suit their mood, whether for entertaining or relaxing.
Mr Xuereb said that plans have now been finalised for the main restaurant by the beach, which is expected to be the hub of activity for the Palm City tenants. Negotiations have also been concluded for the operations of a fully-fledged supermarket, clinic and hair salon/beautician, which will all be located within the Central Piazza area alongside other outlets earmarked for this area.
Palm City sets the standard for rental accommodation that is tailored to the requirements of the international community.
The residences have been purpose built with an expatriate community in mind and each home is offered complete with every fixture, fitting and comfort, including, for example, extensive storage, ample landscaped outdoor spaces and high speed wireless internet.
For more information about Palm City Residences one is advised to visit
This Content was commissioned for

S&P assigns Libya investment grade rating in country’s first sovereign credit rating

19/ 03/2009

Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday assigned Libya an investment grade rating in the country’s first ever sovereign credit rating, a major boost for the North African nation in its re-emergence on the international business scene after decades of U.S.-imposed sanctions.


AP Business Writer


Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday assigned Libya an investment grade rating in the country’s first ever sovereign credit rating, a major boost for the North African nation in its re-emergence on the international business scene after decades of U.S.-imposed sanctions.

In assigning the rating, S&P highlighted the OPEC member state’s strong balance sheet and solid energy sector growth prospects, and said the country’s outlook was stable. But S&P analyst Ben Faulks also raised questions about transparency in Libya and uncertainty surrounding ongoing reform efforts to promote private sector development.

“We believe Libya’s economic structure is not as developed as most peers with, for example, the banking sector in the early stages of modernization,” Faulks said in a statement.

S&P assigned Libya a long-term foreign and local currency credit rating of “A-,” a short-term foreign and local currency rating of “A-2” and a transfer and convertibility assessment of “A-.” Ratings in the “A” category indicate the issuer has a strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but is somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances.

Libya’s Central Bank said the announcement reflected the country’s ability to continue to strong growth, which averaged about 8 percent between 2003 and 2008.

“Despite the current global financial turmoil, we expect growth to remain strong over the medium-term (non-oil GDP growth rate to average 6-8 percent annually), driven by accommodating fiscal policy and strong private and foreign investment,” the Central Bank of Libya said in a statement.

It added that Libya’s government remains committed to diversifying the economy away from oil while boosting private sector growth.

Libya, a nation of about 5 million, had been under U.S. and U.N. sanctions for decades stemming from the country’s support and sponsorship of terrorism — with perhaps the best know incident being the 1988 downing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

For several years, since the sanctions were lifted after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to compensate the Lockerbie families and to renounce the nation’s weapons program, the country has been enjoying a boom as international oil firms — particularly U.S. companies — begin to return. Libya is a key member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The spike in the price of oil last year, which peaked at almost $150 per barrel in mid-July, also helped fill the government’s coffers and boosted the holdings of the Libyan Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

Central Bank officials said the LIA has about $70 billion in hand, most of which is liquid. The fund has reportedly been eyeing property in the U.S. and Europe, and has been seeking other investments in Europe — mostly in Italy, Libya’s former colonial master.

A key obstacle the country must still overcome, however, is the lack of transparency in the business and government sectors. Gadhafi’s proposals, for example, to scrap the government and distribute the oil wealth directly to the people, as well as a suggestion of nationalizing the oil sector, have raised questions among many investors and analysts.

S&P raised the issue of transparency in its report announcing the rating.

“The main constraint on the ratings on Libya is our belief that decision-making is more centralized and the political process more complex than in many ‘A’ rated peers, leading to less predictability in policy-making,” Faulks said.

“There are uncertainties, too, concerning succession to the long-standing leader,” Gadhafi.

And, while the ratings agency said it expects the sharp fall in oil prices and OPEC-driven production cuts to impact growth in 2009, the country’s earlier oil windfall “gives it ample scope to confront likely fiscal and current account deficits and to moderate what we believe could otherwise be a significant shock to the economy.”


British trade mission in Libya sees the ‘centre of a boom’


LIBYA. Libya is changing at a breathtaking speed. Old buildings are being demolished, rubble cleared away in no time, and construction of new towers, hotels, schools, hospitals are going ahead at full throttle. As a result of carefully-planned economic reform and budget expenditure, legal and administrative changes, and government support of the newly-emerging private sector, the country is booming.

A UK trade mission to Tripoli last month was very successful by all accounts and the participants expressed their gratitude to British Embassy staff and Ambassador HE Sir Vincent Fean, Lady Anne and Commercial Counsellor Gareth O’Brien. Business confidence is at an all time high, and foreign investors from all parts of the world are competing with each other to do business in Libya. With no foreign debt and a healthy capital surplus, the rate of growth was in excess of 7% in 2006 and you can certainly see it taking place in front of your eyes. In the tourism sector, the Intercontinental and Sheraton hotels are in construction.

The Radisson in Tripoli is being renovated and retail shopping centres and brands such as Carrefour are looking to open up in Libya. Libya plans to invest US$120 billion in housing, infrastructure, electricity, training and human resources in the next five years. A new airport with a capacity to serve 20 million passengers is planned.

A new Olympic Village targeting preparation of the future Olympic athletes from Libya is being designed by a UK firm WS Atkins International. Ernst & Young has recently become one of the big four professional firms to have wholly-owned offices in all the Middle East and North African countries.

Trowers and Hamlins are giving valuable advice in corporate governance and legal regulatory framework. Countless business prospects exist in the oil and gas technology and services, education and training, medical equipment, hospital supplies and management, aviation, computers and software services, telecommunications, waste and water treatment, agricultural services and farm machinery, agricultural commodities, food products, white goods, and tourism.

The boom is there, but foreign companies wishing to invest or do business in Libya should still be wary of certain issues in doing business with Libya. Firstly, and most importantly foreign firms need to identify a reliable local partner. At times, the partner may only be in name, but this is one of the ways in which the government is trying to get the Libyans to become involved and trained. Secondly, utmost care is needed in establishing payment procedures. Letter of Credit is the form of payment which is recommended. Needless to say, getting the LC documents right is the key to preventing running into problems.

A briefing at Commercial Counsellor Gareth O’Brien’s residence heard that the importance of Libya could be assessed from the number of VIP visits to the country. Prime Minister Tony Blair had visited in May 2007, the Duke of York had come in November, the Lord Mayor of London was visiting in March and Trade Minister Digby Lord Jones was visiting in May. The Libyan Foreign Minister had visited the British Secretary of State for Trade & Industry David Milliband in London.

The British Ambassador said that the UK-Libya bilateral relationships were very strong, that there were 4,000 Libyan students in the UK at any one time, and the British Council was teaching 800 students. The next presenter, Paul Austin, Chairman of the British Business Group in Libya, gave invaluable information to the delegates, saying that it was very important to find the right partner. With a population of only 6.5 million people, Libyans were very tribal and would immediately be aware if you were courting a lot of companies for your business. You would be advised to choose one partner and be loyal to him, he said. You should put a smile on your face, be prepared to drink lots of tea, and remember that it is your personality, not your business card which is important. Another reception hosted a meeting of British companies with their Libyan counterparts with Dr Abdarrahman Algamudi, Secretary of the Libyan Foreign Investment Board (LFIB)  in attendance.

Algamudi said his priority was to increase foreign direct investment and improve the investment climate in Libya. His aim is to turn the LFIB into a one stop shop to answer all the questions of investors and businessmen. He added that Law 5 had been passed to increase transparency and to raise the business standards in Libya. He said that since last June, the laws had not changed as much as the attitudes had. He said he felt more positive about the developments in Libya. Another meeting took place with Dr Taher E Jehaimi, the Secretary of Planning. Dr Jehaimi was the Governor of the Central Bank in 1996 and he said he remembers addressing the membersof the British business group in that capacity when he visited London then. Now he is in charge of advising the government on how to prioritise and how to break projects into phases in order to facilitate their implementation. He explained the five year programme adding that the priority this year would be given to housing, water treatment, sewage, telecommunications, construction, health and education. “Libya is going through a special experience,” he said. “We want to try to avoid the past mistakes of other countries. We are aiming for sustainable development and realise that education is the key factor. We try to establish priorities in order to avoid bottlenecks. We work with individual sectors and try to come up with a program that can be implemented to good effect. We are concerned about inflation and the prices of commodities. We are short of manpower. On the one hand we want Libyan companies to grow and expand; on the other hand we know that they do not have the capabilities. We are now encouraging private companies and we invite investors to bring capital, services, technology and know-how to Libya.”

This content was commissioned for

Libya to Host OPEC Summit in 2012


Libya is to host the OPEC summit for the year 2012 as a result of a decision adopted by the summit on Sunday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Libya’s top oil official Shukri Ghanem confirmed the news and said on Sunday that the group is to discuss the dollar issue at the Dec. 5 meeting in Abu Dhabi.

A fall in the value of the U.S. dollar on global markets helped fuel oil’s rally to a record $98.62 on Nov 7 — causing Western consumer nations to call for more OPEC supplies to cool prices — but it has also eroded the purchasing power of OPEC members.

The final statement of the oil cartel’s summit in Riyadh did not include any reference to the dollar’s predicament.

Iran and Venezuela made clear before and after the summit that they would press for action, which could include pricing oil in a basket of currencies.Such a move would be a political blow to the United States.

Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabor told Reuters after the summit’s close that, backed by Ecuador, the anti-U.S. powers won agreement that finance ministers would discuss the issue before a scheduled oil ministers meeting in Abu Dhabi on December 5.

“There was a proposal from Iran and Venezuela to have a basket of currencies for the pricing of OPEC oil. But a consensus could not be reached (in the summit),” he said.

“Because the final communique was already drafted, there was an agreement that OPEC finance ministers hold a meeting before the oil meeting in the UAE in December to discuss economic issues including the dollar’s exchange rate,” he added to Reuters.

OPEC oil ministers said last week any decision on raising output will be left to the Abu Dhabi meeting in two weeks time.

“We affirm our commitment … to continue providing adequate, timely and sufficient oil to the world market,” said the final declaration issued at the two-day summit’s close


49 Responses to “Libya”

  1. Excellent items from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff prior to and you are simply too fantastic. I actually like what you have received here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which through which you assert it. You are making it entertaining and you still take care of to stay it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful web site.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: