Libya expects nearly $2 bln in new FDI: official

Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:29am GMT

Foreign investors complain of obstacles such as restrictions on visas.

Al-Ftise said Libya was beginning to introduce visas for investors on arrival at Libyan airports, rather than from individual embassies.

"That is starting now, we are hoping it will come in probably after a month," he said.

However, he said relaxation on visas was a two-way process with countries such as Britain.

"If you ease things here, we will ease things there."


Libya has privatised more than 100 companies since 2003 in industries including oil refining, tourism and real estate, of which 29 are 100 percent foreign owned.

The oil and gas sector still dominates the economy and is the destination for most foreign investment. BP and Exxon Mobil are among the international oil majors active in the sector.

Libyan banks are allowed to enter partnership agreements with foreign banks but the foreign partners are restricted to a 49 percent stake. Al-Ftise said foreign investors can take 100 percent ownership in other sectors.   Continued...

<p>U.S. dollar notes after counting at a bank in Seoul, South Korea, October 22, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won</p>
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