Active in countries across the African continent, LAAICO invests in a wide variety of sectors and range of tax breaks and guarantees of investment security are being introduced as part of Libya’s push to attract foreign investment.
There are moves to simplify bureaucratic procedures and to create a more business-friendly environment.
In return the Libyan authorities are looking for foreign firms that can help to diversify and strengthen the economy, contribute to local development and develop Libyan products for the international market.
Specific benefits being sought – particularly in the oil and gas sector – include the transfer of modern technology and training of technical personnel.
“Once we are sure that an investment project complies with our requirements and will help with the development of the economy we will agree to it,” says Rajab M. Shiglabu (INTERVIEW), General Director of the Libyan Foreign Investment Board. These are still relatively early days in terms of foreign involvement in the Libyan market and Mr Shiglabu stresses the rewards awaiting those companies who move quickly. “This is a safe place for investors to set up,” he stresses. “Libya is opening its arms and now is the time for foreign investors to come.”
- Rajab M. Shiglabu, General Director of the Libyan Foreign Investment Board- ‘Libya is opening its arms and now is the time for foreign investors to come’
Although Libya’s domestic market is relatively small, the country is strategically placed in terms of access to the North African market, particularly in view of its prominent role in the African Union. Proximity to the European market is a further incentive.
- Mohamed H. Kanoun (INTERVIEW), Chairman of the General Union of Libyan Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, urges foreign investors to investigate the opportunities available. “We have many potential areas ready for investment and offering a high range of profitability” he says. “The government is taking the necessary steps by introducing low taxes and facilitating all the procedures, and the private sector is ready to work in partnership with foreign companies.”
- Libya’s own role as an investor in the African continent is exemplified by the activities of the Libyan Arab African Investment Company (LAAICO), the sub-Saharan investment arm of the state-owned Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO).
Mustafa Tayeb Khattabi, Chairman and Managing Director of Laaico‘We are ready to share our experience with those willing to work with us’
- LAAICO has business interests spanning 25 countries and is active in sectors ranging from hotels and real estate to industry, mining and telecommunications.
- Its commercial wing, the trading and investment company AFRIMPEX, is based in Malta and specialises in poultry, agricultural projects and commodities.
- Mustafa Tayeb Khattabi (INTERVIEW), LAAICO’s Chairman and Managing Director, says Africa is a very promising destination for investment with ample resources waiting to be explored. “Libya has been working in African countries for a long time. We are ready to share our experience and technical knowledge with those who have the will to work with us.” Mr Khattabi says Libya can act as a bridge between north and south. “We have experience with European countries and African countries that qualifies us for that role. As long as a project is feasible in terms of profit-making, we welcome partnership with other investors.”