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A FRESH NEW START? What the elections mean for the Libyan economy?

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The election is expected to lead to reforms and investors want to know what those policies will be. In May, the economy ministry issued a decree enabling foreign companies to set up joint ventures, branches and representative offices in most sectors, more easily.

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July 5, 2012 5:23 by



“Businesses are looking with great hopes towards the elections,” David Bachmann, head of the commercial section at the Austrian embassy in Tripoli, said.

 

“However, they are aware that probabilities are high that even after the elections it might take some months – hopefully not years – before decisions are taken.”

 

While public sector entities await, the private sector is flourishing, especially trade. Tripoli’s port is heaving with activity and foreign produce is stocked on supermarket shelves. A cash crisis has eased and shops and cafes have re-opened.

 

Monoprix Tunisia, an affiliate of the French supermarket chain, wants to start opening 10 stores in Libya from late 2012, after uprisings in both countries delayed earlier plans.

 

On the construction side, small-scale private projects have taken off – homes are being built, businesses being refurbished.

 

HUGE POTENTIAL; SECURITY RISKS

 

Austria’s Asamer, which operates cement factories in Libya through a joint venture, has gradually increased production since January.

 

“We see a huge potential – there are the needs of young population and a lot of infrastructure to be reconstructed. We expect a boom in construction activity,” Fodinger said.



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