Libya: a mixed bag

July 7, 2010

It has debt levels to die for and huge amounts of oil, but economically it’s lagging and political concerns remain.  Speakers at a Libyan trade and investment forum this week saw the North African country as a mixed bag.

RTR25J1A_CompRobert Tashima, an editor for Oxford Business Group,  highlighted the country’s “elephantine” levels of FX reserves, and the privatisation of 80 companies so far, with telecoms and steel sales slated for this year.

Rory Fyfe, an economist with the Economist Intelligence Unit, said he expected the country’s budget to remain in surplus and inflation under control, and pointed to high levels of non-oil growth, but said the economy should be doing better than it is.

Charles Gurdon, managing director of Menas Associates, said in his presentation on politics that the lack of a designated successor to Muammar Gaddafi, who has led Libya for over 40 years, could lead to violence.

Abdulmagid El-Mansuri, chairman of the industry ministry’s foreign investment advisory committee, said the country was privatising at a pace and was also allowing joint ventures with international firms, such as soon-to-be-announced joint-venture licenses for foreign banks.

But perhaps indicating the sensitive nature of Libya’s political system, he said Gurdon’s decision to include pictures of Gaddafi and key family members in his presentation was “completely outrageous”.


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Very simple. The country is a dictatorship. Nobody wants to do business with the Gaddafi clan unless they have to or they make a lot of money. The country is stifled for talent because nobody wants to make waves – because if they upset the Gaddafis in any way – they are dead. Business opportunities have nothing to do with talent and everything to do with how close you are to Muammar.

The conditions for a real economy are non-existent until the Gaddafis are history.

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And where there are dictators, you will find British businesses doing a roaring trade. When a country is willing to give up a mass murderer in order to get access to oil, it says it all.

Posted by andrewlongworth | Report as abusive

Gaddafi is The Laughing Stock of the World. every Citizen of this planet excluding Lybia knows that.

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Libyans also KNOW about the laughing stock, unfortunately the great democratic and moral nations that preach it never abide by it. You support these dictators all over the world for your own self interests, for millions of dollars here and there and to protect thousands of jobs in your backyards, while millions of people suffer and die under these tyrants that your leaders force on us. Shame on you.

Posted by JTikrit | Report as abusive

Gaddafi just called for Arab nations bordering on Israel to gather in “peaceful” demonstrations on the borders. A little DEFLECTING methinks, the Libyans should remain quiet and docile not emulate their Egyptian brothers. Iranians should also remain quiet.It seems only “certain” Muslim countries are in need of revolt.Those that support terrorism are just fine the way they are.

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Muammar Gaddafi has ruled his country successfully for a long time.Though He was a dictator, I suppose a Gaddafi like him is sometimes necessary for continuous progress of a country.

Posted by Prottoy | Report as abusive

Alot of people especially disenfrancised poor people in Cuba & Venezuela wish that what is happening in the middle east happened to their countries… their dictators have shown to be far more appalling

Posted by andres_ruiz21 | Report as abusive

No one thought Gaddafi can be challenged at any one time the Man who used to move with his army when visiting other countries. His body guards used to beat Museveni’s guards whenever he visited Uganda in order to take control of Gaddafi’s security.Now they can not give him maximum security only what they can do is to help him loose his grip on power. African leaders like Ugandan leader who have been in power for long should have a lesson from Libya. some time the power doesnot belong to the army it belongs to people.

Posted by utga | Report as abusive

It is shameful that western nations hide behind their philosophical cover, whining that it’s not their responsibility to intervene and to do so (while it would save thousands of lives yet to be lost) would be wrong.
It is wrong to stand and watch innocents being slaughtered by their own government, emboldened as each day goes by – that the world intends to do nothing to prevent the massacres. Threats of enacting a no-fly zone – is a joke, we must quickly enact a global plan to forcibly remove this murderous dictator and put him on trial in the international arena for crimes against humanity – rather than allow the carnage to continue.
To do otherwise – is to look the other way, pretend none of this is really happening and become unwitting accomplices to mass murder. Failure to act to defend the lives of thousands of innocents who will be slaughtered in due time – is OUR collective crime, as citizens of the world – because we are looking for excuses (this is not our problem, we have no jurisdiction, no proof exists that genocide is being perpetrated, etc, etc, etc.) Our shameful behavior will be remembered by all – Ghaddafi is the new Hitler exterminating anyone who opposes him and the reign of terror has largely been covered up and underestimated in it’s scope. If the United Nations cannot or will not act – perhaps the United States can bring the atrocities to a halt – with or without the permission of other members of the security council.

Posted by Know-It-All | Report as abusive


The problem is when we do that we end up with a local culture that sees us as the new imperial, westernizing occupying, resource stealing, puppet strongman installer.
Then we end up in a fight to exit, if we leave the country in shambles we are wrong and whatever leader is there when we leave is seen as a puppet for the west and is quickly killed, thrusting the country back into chaos.
Intervention is a no win sittuation.
The world must act in unison and stop doing business with these types of regiems, and make it known that if we suspect they are encouraging attacks on free nations we will respond with our full military might on their oil fields and military targets.

Posted by mcallender | Report as abusive

The hypocrisy of the Europeans is obvious in this case.The quest for economic advantage as a means to determining crises intervention is absurd.I think Libyans need to take their destinies into their own hands and stop expecting any help from the outside world.It was hard but the Egyptians were able to succeed.
Africa do not matter to the west only countries with Oil&Gas or that may pose security threats are those that do!

Posted by Topemi | Report as abusive

Regime change is the main focus of the allied coalition and the rebels couldn’t care if their western allied coalition carpet bombed all of Libya to achieve their aims. 2 things are now going to happen. 1 – The destruction of Libya. 2 – The killing of untold numbers of Libyan soldiers and civilians.

Posted by Revelation1000 | Report as abusive

This is not merely a playground spat or dispute over turf between two rival gangs. Under the principles of the UN of which Libya is a member, the Libyan government has a duty to protect and safeguard all Libyan citizens and other Libyan residents. Gadhafi has wreaked a brutal assault on those who oppose him in Benghazi and other cities that goes well beyond what any lawful government may do to restore or maintain public order.

This is why the Arab League sought UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011) and why none of the UNSC opposed the resolution. And this is why some member countries of the UN, such as the USA, the UK and France, acting in accord with UNSC Resolution 1973 under the umbrella of NATO, are currently enforcing UNSC Resolution 1973 and bombing pro-Gadhafi troops.

Para 4 of Resolution 1973 (2011) called upon UN member countries:

“… to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory …”

If Gadhafi wants NATO to stop bombing his tanks and units around Misrata and other Libyan population centres then all Gadhafi has to do is to recall all his troops to barracks and stop murdering the Libyan populace. Then NATO will stop bombing. How difficult is this for the Gadhafi apologists and the apathetic to understand?

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We should be also supporting the pro democracy movements in the even more oppressive nations of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Kuwait.

Posted by Manuka | Report as abusive

The Serbians are still resentful at the UN for the mass bombing.
Why do we interfere like we do? There have been many countries that needed sanctions to protect their citizens such as the Burnma which was wiping out the Karen. This is a civil war. The rebels are political antagonists of Gaddafi who have support in the East but in the whole of Libya, only limited support. Gaddafi has transferred most of the powers he had…to the people. The people of Libya are being attacked by rebels and NATO, forced out of their country, without fuel and food because of NATO, having their wealth and oil stolen by a small western backed minority. How can we do this? Only some people in Libya hate Gaddafi. We hate him because his way is not ours and it works. His system is valid, more than our corrupt one.
On Tamils for Gaddafi, Facebook, there was an account of Benghazi, loyalist women being dragged off into unmarked cars. Check it out reporters who are sycophants to the Gaddafi haters.

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Well, I suppose that to say that your financially bankrupt, isnt a great position statement. (Which is the current situation of both the USA and of the UK).
Is this just about financially secure jealousy or is it still about the selling of oil in a currency which the USA still wants everyone to accept their worthless paper. (OPEC Pricing is still in US Dollars… but for how long?) Gadaffi wanted to be paid in Gold Dinars. So hes the current target!
Seems like this is a repeat of the real reason why the USA and partners went into IRAQ, (which wanted to be paid in EUROS)and which neither the USA or the UK can supply?
With IRAN alerady dealing in Euros,, will IRAN be the next target for “regime change”?

Posted by SiliconSam | Report as abusive

Anyone keeping a close eye on the USA at actual ground level, understand that they are in a worse position than any other country in the world.
Without everyone elses oil the US economy will collapse in 30 days.
Already 8% of the polulation cant feed itself unless they get food stamps, a system which is run by JP Morgan. This was an organisation which had to be bailed out with hundreds of billions of unless paper. Says a lot doesnt it?
Along with an average of 12.3% (nationally) unemployed, and “tent Cities springing up like mushrooms, its no longer possible to consider the USA as a major player in world economies anymore.
Major players as far as wars are concerned, but these are only fuelled by worthless paper currency.
Everything is being kept quiet and the truth is being stymied, at every level, becuase.. who wants to be left holding a handfull of worthless paper.

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I wish any Libyan could post comment here about Gaddafi.
Else history will be written by winners.

Gaddafi alone is fighting with super powers of world for more than 3 months.

Posted by rksingh | Report as abusive

“I suppose a Gaddafi like him is sometimes necessary for continuous progress of a country.”

So you prefer continuous progress over liberty ?
Your living in the wrong country.

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Gaddafi had a deal with China for 20 billion dollars worth of refinery equipment and that was the first target the USA hit.

The old rule, you always buy your oil with US dollars or we murder you and call it freedom of liberty… or something, because the media does what it is told.

Interesting, the USA is bankrupt Libya isn’t.

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Gaddafi is on the cusp of a win against the NATO backed rebels and still has more support than Obama’s recent ratings show not to mention Cameron or Sarkozy – very ironic that these leaders with less support call Gaddafi undemocratic?

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Honestly, Reuters should be ashamed of itself running such an absurdly out of date article. It does you no favours at all. When you come to the page specially dedicated to Africa you find a piece that makes it look you hardly ever update your pages and that you are simply not up to speed. It rankled with me that this piece was there well after the insurrection started, but to find it still here when the man has lost power makes you look bad. I expected better.

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Claims that Libyan reserves have been frozen in western banks is an outright loot. USA, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and their cohorts have used Libyan assets to refinance their banks. Before the carpet bombing of Libyan women and children by NATO and its terrorist rebels, the media was awash with news on Greek, Italian and Spanish financial crises….Now, no more. The libyan loot has been used to refinance these countries. It is amoral and immoral to kill men and women for economic gain, as these countries have done for CENTURIES! And its even more immoral that reuters and other western media houses cheerlead and turn a blind eye to this immorality. Shame on you all.

Posted by nalundu | Report as abusive

We always do a writing base on our opinion. can we get a information thant truthly right 100%? anyway make sure the infomation is not speculate from any party. For me, international have thier own agenda on this matter to take advantage. Be carefull not to trust the international party alot. in this world I never found terrorist rebels get a help from iinternational party. there must be a fishy thing occur in this even.

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“It has debt levels to die for” — isn’t this a silly , silly way to begin this story? Especially in view of other Libya stories that it is sharing web pages with.
Maybe think before you put fingers to keyboard next time?

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