Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Libya: Security of foreign personnel and assets appears to be improving

Foreign investors appear increasingly to be adversely affected by the recession in world markets. In Libya, foreign companies face problems of slow payment and costly over-runs due to the inefficiencies of local financial institutions. Libya remains one of the most attractive markets world-wide but there is persistent suspicion that the country is being overstretched financially at the present time. Foreign investors are, therefore, tending to pace themselves. According to Arab sources, foreign investment in Libya ran at US$4,100 million in 2008 but fell sharply to US$844 million in 2009.

The security of foreign assets is claimed to be a priority of the Libyan government but the promised law on the attraction and protection of foreign assets has still not been published. This inevitably leaves scope for manipulation of contracts, not to mention exposure to illegal pressures for payments to local concerns. In all, focus of commerce is that comparative security will be sustained but those companies whose products are most in demand will fare better.

Political security appears to be improving and the outlook more heartening than for some time, as General Abdel Fatah Yunis al-Obeidi acquires more staff and better technology in controlling illegal movements of labour into the country. During his recent visit to London, the General made considerable progress for the procurement of new weaponry and monitoring equipment.

The opposition is undermined and feeble so that nothing but isolated and small-scale incidents of lawlessness against the regime can be expected.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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