With a Mediterranean coastline of nearly 1,800 km. and an area of 1.76 million square-km. (i.e. more than three times the size of France); Libya has always enjoyed the merit of a strategic location at the midpoint of Africa’s northern rim. Having borders with Egypt on the east, Algeria and Tunisia on the west and Chad, Niger and Sudan on the south this has further enhanced its strategic position that links the Middle East with oriental civilizations and other North African Arab countries as well as providing a passage gate to the core sub-Saharan African countries. Libya rests within easy reach of Europe; home of the Romans and the Greeks, and the birthplace of the modern industrial civilizations. These are facts that have throughout history made Libya a bustling crossroads of most civilizations.
The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which constitute practically all export earnings and about one-quarter of gross domestic product (GDP). The World Bank defines Libya as an 'Upper Middle Income Economy', along with only seven other African countries.
Today, high oil revenues and a small population give Libya one of the highest GDPs per capita in Africa and have allowed the Libyan state to provide an extensive level of social security, particularly in the fields of housing and education.
Libya in the past six years has carried out economic reforms as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the global capitalist economy. Libya has begun some market-oriented reforms. Initial steps have included applying for membership of the World Trade Organization, reducing subsidies, and announcing plans for privatisation. Authorities have privatised more than 100 government owned companies since 2003 in industries including oil refining, tourism and real estate, of which 29 are 100% foreign owned. The non-oil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel and aluminum.
Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food. Libya is now undergoing a business boom. Many government-run industries are being privatised. Many international oil companies have returned to the country, including oil giants Shell and ExxonMobil.
Tourism is on the rise, bringing increased demand for hotel accommodation and for capacity at airports such as Tripoli International. A multi-million dollar renovation of Libyan airports has recently been approved by the government to help meet such demands.At present 130,000 people visit the country annually; the Libyan government hopes to increase this figure to 10,000,000 tourists.
- Libya generously endowed with energy resources and experienced strong economic growth with exceptional – Economic and financial conditions has one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa
- Libya has begun to adopt market oriented reforms. The government has attempted to diversify its oil-dependent economy, encourage technical training of Libyan nationals and enhance regional development. Also, Libya has concluded a number of bilateral economic cooperation and African states.
- The Libyan foreign investment board (LIFIB) is the one-stop shop. Is a member of the 1989 Arab Maghred union (AMU) link in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Libya.
- Libya is a part of the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement, (GAFTA, also called PAFTA, pan Arab Free Trade Agreement, And also Libya is a member of the COMESA free trade area (FTA)
Hon. Mohamed Ali Al-hwaj
Secretary General peoples Committee for Industry, economy and trade
General peoples Committee for Industry, economy and trade
P.O. Box 4779
Tripoli – Libya
Fax: +21821-4838417/ 21821-4831394/4840700
Privatization and Investment Board
Union general of chamber for industry and commerce
Tripoli – Libya
P.O. Box 5078