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Business News

Business News
Released:  14/05/20122012-05-14
Word count:  973

Former rebel fighters opened fire outside the office of Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib on 8 May, leaving one dead and a number of others injured. Benghazi remains calm, and there have been no major incidents over the last week. Libya began the first civilian trial of alleged Gaddafi supporters on 8 May, as five men accused of planning to create instability by “terrorist acts” appeared before a court in Zawiyah. Meanwhile, finance...

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Hind Bensari
Projections Security will remain positive overall in Libya’s main cities, although there is an increasing risk of further outbreaks of violence and political protest in the run up to elections. Political demonstrations are likely in central squares of major cities, and will also focus on government buildings. Although mainly peaceful, there is potential for violence, particularly in Benghazi where tensions between pro and anti-federalism activists have previously resulted in bloodshed.

Security throughout the rest of the country will remain tentative. There is potential for further clashes in al-Kufra, and the south west near Sabha and the Murzuq oil basin. Smuggling across the western border will also remain an issue, and there is potential for clashes between rival smuggling groups, or with national security forces from Tunisia, Algeria and Libya itself.

The interim government will remain unstable until elections, and there is potential for some members to resign amid the ongoing corruption scandals and following pressure from the National Transitional Council (NTC). Tripoli One security officer was killed and four others – three security personnel and one demonstrator – were injured on 8 May when former rebel fighters protesting outside the Prime Minister’s office in the Tareeg Seka area of the capital began opening fire. AKE sources on the ground reported that former rebel fighters from the Yefren and Galaa areas of Jabal Nafusa entered the premises and began firing. Reports from the scene indicate that the rebels turned up with heavily armed jeeps carrying anti-aircraft guns, and demanded rights and compensation for former rebel fighters.

Members of the national security forces arrived at the location, and AKE sources at the scene indicated that the situation ended and traffic was transiting through the area normally only hours after the initial reports.

In a televised statement Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib branded the attackers “outlaws”, claiming that they intended to take money by way of compensation that they did not deserve.

Personnel should be aware of the risk of further incidents of this nature involving disgruntled former rebel fighters, who feel they are not being properly compensated for their sacrifices during the revolution. Clashes are most likely to occur around high profile government buildings in the city, although regular rallying points such as Martyrs’ Square and major hotels could also see shows of force by the rebels.

The compensation issue has taken on more significance over the last month, since the government ended a controversial programme that provided financial recompense to former rebel fighters. The scheme was marred by accusations of corruption, and so the government cut the payments.

Benghazi Benghazi remains calm, and there have been no major incidents of note over the past week.

However, personnel should be mindful of the risk of demonstrations that can cause disruption in central areas of the city. AKE personnel on the ground have long highlighted the potential for disruption caused by strikes and demonstrations in central areas of the city, a fact that may become all the more apparent in the run-up to elections in June.

Large political gatherings can have the potential for violence, and there have also been a number of small scale bomb attacks at similar events in recent months.

Trial of Alleged Gaddafi Supporters Begins A court in the town of Zawiyah began the first civilian trial of alleged Gaddafi supporters on 8 May. Five men accused of planning to create instability by “terrorist acts” appeared before the court, however the trial was adjourned for a week after a request by defence lawyers. The men were reportedly arrested in Zawiyah, and are alleged to have been planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the country in order to create instability. Some have apparently confessed to fighting on Gaddafi’s side.

Although these are the first trials to take place in Libya, a number of other high profile trials, including that of Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, could also take place on Libyan soil. This will therefore be scrutinised by international observers keen to know how capable the current legal apparatus is to handle a high profile case. Political Section Finance Minister Hassan Ziglam stated on 10 May that he would soon resign due to the degree of “wastage of public funds” by the interim government. Ziglam cited the now halted scheme to compensate former rebel fighters, as well as the ongoing pressure from them for payment as a major reason for his resignation. A number of demonstrations by former rebels have turned violent as the government has failed to meet their demands for compensation and further employment.

The issue was reportedly the main grievance of former rebel fighters who attacked the Prime Minister’s office in the Tareeg Seka area of Tripoli on 8 May. Similar, although less violent, demonstrations have occurred outside government buildings on a number of occasions, while there have been accusations of corruption inside the interim government, with some of the alleged recipients of money from the now-ended scheme being ineligible.

Some LD1.8 bln (US$1.2 bln) was spent in three months of the programme, and an NTC statement claimed that not only were some of those on the list ineligible, others were also dead.

Meanwhile, interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil stated on 5 May that his doctors had ordered him to rest because of a minor health problem. He also stated that the problem was not serious, and was due to the amount of work that had been required of him during the transition process.



AKE is a leading international security risk-mitigation and analysis provider to international businesses, insurers, NGOs and news media. Founded in 1991 by Andrew Kain, AKE distinguishes itself from other security firms by taking a needs- and intelligence-led approach to assessing, monitoring, training for and protecting against risk. For security assistance on the situation in Libya please contact operations@akegroup.com or call +44 (0) 1432 267 111. For intelligence contact intel@akegroup.comfor further information.
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  14/05/20122012-05-14
Word count:  221

The Azerbaijan government has proposed the rebuilding of petrol stations and a oil refinery in Libya.

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Mina Monir
The Azerbaijan ambassador to Libya, Agasalim Shukurov, has met the Libyan Minister of Oil and Gas, Abdulrahman Ben Yezza, to discuss the possibilities of cooperation between the two countries in the field of oil and gas industries. The Ambassador underlined the opening of Azerbaijan`s embassy in Libya is an important step for the development of relations between the countries. He stressed the need to strengthen friendly and cooperative relations in all spheres. Mr. Shukurov conveyed the proposal of Azerbaijan to build filling stations in Libya under the brand of SOCAR and to buildan oil refinery either jointly or at the expense of Azerbaijan's investors. The State Oil Co. (ATPG) of Azerbaijan, known as SOCAR, is building a refinery in Turkey’s Izmir region. It also has filling stations in Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia. Mr. Yezza thanked the ambassador for the offer and emphasizes the importance of cooperation between the two countries on many levels. The Ambassador of Azerbaijan invited the Libyan Minister to the 19th International Oil and Gas Fair and Conference, which will run from 5 to 8 June 2012 in Baku. Azerbaijan is one of the major investors in the sectors of construction and oil in Libya. It had close ties with Libya before the February 2011 uprisings and currently it is looking for ways to revive ties between the two countries.
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Political News

Political News
Released:  14/05/20122012-05-14

More than a million people have registered to vote, ahead of Libya's first general elections. But parties and candidates say there are still many problems ahead of next month's vote. Omar Al Saleh reports from Tripoli.

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Mina Monir
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Business News

Business News
Released:  14/05/20122012-05-14
Word count:  770

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/68bdd5f8-9cef-11e1-aa39-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1upkel0Sl British companies are gearing up to compete for billions of pounds worth of contracts in Libya as the oil-rich...

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Ahead of elections for the new government expected to be held in June, businesses, officials and advisers are converging on London on Monday for a one-day conference on how companies can best position themselves to win a series of lucrative tenders expected to be awarded over the next few years.

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Despite continuing security concerns, British companies have started to return to Libya this year including Rentokil, the pest controller; British Airways, which has restarted flights; and PwC, which is sponsoring the conference. G4S, the FTSE 100 security company, has also recently appointed Richard Northern, the UK ambassador to Libya during the Arab spring, as a senior adviser as it targets the north African nation for expansion. It is believed to have a won a €10m contract to provide bodyguards and security for the EU in the country. Much of Libya’s infrastructure is in a dire state, with transport, banking, telecommunications, power generation, education, water and sewerage systems in poor condition even by regional standards. Although its oil extraction infrastructure is considered the jewel of its industrial base, its refineries are widely regarded as outmoded and in need of upgrading. But Libya is also wealthy. Oil income exceeded $12bn in the first quarter of this year, according to official government figures, making reconstruction plans viable. UK Trade and Investment, which promotes British commercial interests abroad and is backing the conference, has estimated that the rebuilding of Libya could be worth £126bn over the next decade. With the stock market only recently reopened and the transitional government wary of signing contracts, no one expects the transition to happen over night. Mott MacDonald, the British engineering company that has kept an office open throughout the uprising, said it would take time for institutions to re-establish themselves. Nevertheless, Chris Trinder, director at Mott MacDonald, added: “Although we don’t expect a lot of projects to suddenly start in the next three to six months, Libya is on the cusp of generating a lot of work beyond that period.” “There was a lot of work to be done in Libya before, and that hasn’t changed. So we are preparing for that to take off again soon because it still has the potential to be a big market.” Many companies have held on to contracts put on hold during the Arab spring in the hope that the projects will be restarted. Rentokil said it had been operating in the country again since the start of the year and was engaged in discussions towards re­activating an agreement to provide rodent control for the Libyan government. Some contracts had already come back on stream, particularly in oil and gas projects that are key for the revival of the Libyan economy. Raid Abu-Manneh, partner at Mayer Brown, a law firm, said “payments had been honoured and progress made”. But he added that it remains a “wait and see” situation until after the election. The transitional government has pledged to honour existing deals but any termination of contracts could lead to a raft of legal cases as contractors sue for things such as lost equipment, delayed payment and the cost of uprooting offices and staff. “Not many construction disputes have erupted yet as contractors bide their time,” said Mr Abu-Manneh. “But they may have haemorrhaged money from projects being put on hold as a result of the events in Libya and there may be a surge in claims after the election if the situation is not resolved.” Security woes remain an impediment to luring foreign investment. Libyans are generally welcoming to foreigners, and westerners have so far not been the target of any attacks. But armed groups continue to roam the land, with decades-old rivalries sometimes exploding into gun battles. The interim government has yet to assert its authority over many of the militias that drove Muammer Gaddafi from power, although the situation may stabilise following scheduled elections on June 19.
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  11/05/20122012-05-11
Word count:  305

The Libyan Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Dr. Awad Ebrik, has visited the United Arab Emirates to discuss the Emirati experience of clean technology.

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Mina Monir
According to Solar Server, the Libyan delegation also visited Masdar Institute (MI), a graduate level research-oriented university focused on renewable energy and sustainability. The delegation observed the microscopy suite and clean room at the Undercroft laboratories. The Libyan delegation also visited MI's library, the Knowledge Centre and its landmark 'wind tower'. On their exit, the delegation briefly visited the 10-megawatt (MW) Beam Down solar photovoltaic (PV) test field and the chiller system. Mr. Ebrik was also received by DEWA company and its MD & CEO Mr. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer. The visit aimed to explain the UAE’s successful experience with renewable energy and how that could be applied in Libya. "We are pleased to welcome the kind visit of the Libyan delegation headed by HE Dr. Awad Ibrahim Ibraik, a dear colleague with whom we all worked with for many years at DEWA. I'm also pleased to welcome the members of his accompanying delegation and wish them all a good stay in their second home in the UAE," said Al Tayer. The Libyan minister expressed his appreciation for the opportunity afforded by this visit and stressed the importance of utilizing his successful experience at DEWA as one of the leading utilities worldwide in terms of availability, efficiency and reliability in order to regulate, enhance and assist the energy sector in Libya. Cooperation between Libya and the UAE could contribute to overcoming the persistent challenges Libya faces, and promoting the role of the UAE in supporting the National Transitional Council and the people of Libya. The UAE government has shown great support to the National Transitional Council and provided both experience and investment that has supported the rebuilding of a post-Gaddafi Libya. The UAE investments in Libya are among the largest ones made and focuson the energy sector, particularly the refineries of oil and gas fields.
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Business News

Business News
Released:  11/05/20122012-05-11
Word count:  207

According to figures issued by Turkey's country's statistics authority, TurkStat, Turkish exports to Libya, Russia, Jordan, Syria, and Albania were up in the last three years after visa exemptions were introduced.

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Turkey and Libya launched visa exemptions on April 19, 2009 and xports rose to 1.9 billion from 1.8 billion between 2009 and 2010. However, Turkish exports to Libya notablydecreased due to Arab Spring and fell to 747.7 million USD in 2011. Turkey earned 526 million USD from its exports to Libya in the first quarter of 2012.

Although Turkish exports to Libya saw a slight decrease in 2011, they continued to increase in the first quarter of 2012.Turkish exports to Russia rose to 4.6 billion USD in 2010 and to 6 billion USD in 2011. They were around 3.2 billion USD in 2009.

Turkey and Russia lifted visa procedures for trips of up to 30 days on May 12, 2010, and as a result, Turkey earned 1.5 billion USD from its exports to Russia in the first quarter of 2012. Turkey and Albania lifted visa requirements under a memorandum of understanding they signed on November 20, 2009. Turkish exports to this country decreased to 241 million from 273.1 million between 2009 and 2010 due to global financial crisis, but they rose to 270.7 million USD in 2011, and Turkey exported goods worth 64.8 million USD in the first three months of 2012.

Turkey also lifted visa procedures with Syria on October 17, 2009, and its exports to Syria were 1.4, 1.9 and 1.6 billion USD respectively in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Turkey exported goods worth 172 million USD to Syria in the first quarter of 2012. [Source Tripoli Post]
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  10/05/20122012-05-10
Word count:  232

Among the distinguished delegates visiting Libya this week, a Korean delegation arrived in Tripoli to discuss reviving Korean business activities in Libya.

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Mina Monir
The 14 company delegation has met the different Libyan representatives of the government and the commercial and industrial chambers in Tripoli and Benghazi to discuss restoring Korean business activities that were halted after Gaddafi’s fall. The delegation, organized by the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency KOTRA, participated in a seminar attended by over 250 Libyans at one of Tripoli’s top hotels where Dia Hamuda, the Director of International Cooperation spoke on behalf of Libya’s Ministry of Economy, according to the Libya Herald. “The trip was very successful”, Mr Kil-Beom Lee, the Korean Commercial Attaché told the Libya Herald. “The aim of the visit was to help Libya to achieve better administration and better e-governance, such as in e-government’, he said. Regarding KT Net’s Single Window Export Project, Mr Lee stated that ‘the project was more than 50 percent complete”. The fall of Gaddafi made Korean industry look with more interest to rebuilding Libya and providing good offers for the construction process. "Libya is to Korean construction companies as China is to German machinery manufacturers," said Ben Simpfendorfer , managing director of Silk Road Associates, to CNN. "China doesn't drive the German economy, but when China manufacturing is up, German machine manufacturers are selling more products to China," Simpfendorfer said. "Much of the Korean construction companies have been involved in Libya and the Middle East in a big way for the past decade."
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  10/05/20122012-05-10
Word count:  220

MADRID (MarketWatch) -- Spanish oil company Repsol YPF SA said Thursday its first-quarter net profit--including its Argentine unit--grew 3.5%, largely due to higher oil prices and production in Libya returning to relatively normal levels.

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Mina Monir
Operations restarted late last year in Libya after ceasing in early 2011 and for the duration of the country's civil war. The company said operations there had largely returned to their pre-war levels. The earnings update is the first since Argentina, led by President Cristina Kirchner, nationalized 51% of YPF SA YPF +4.23%, the country's leading oil and gas company, in early May. That left Repsol with a 6.4% stake in YPF. Repsol also decided to provide figures excluding YPF in its earnings statement, even though the Argentine unit had not yet been nationalized in the first quarter of 2012. The company said net profit in the three months to March 31 including YPF was €792 million, up from €765 million in the same period of 2011. On May 29, the company will present its 2012-2016 strategic plan, centered around the organic growth of the Upstream unit, the consolidation of conversion rates at the expanded Cartagena and Bilbao refineries, a more balanced asset portfolio, the preservation of its financial solidity and an adequate shareholder return. On 31 December 2006, Repsol YPF held mining rights in Libya on 16 blocks. Of these, 15 were exploration blocks (including block NC 186 which has producing fields, but is officially listed as an exploration block until 2008) with a net surface area of 65,517 km2, and one exploitation well with a total net area of 874 km2. [source: Market Watch and Bloomberg]
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Business News

Business News
Released:  09/05/20122012-05-09
Word count:  227

The Libyan Minister of Economy Ahmed al-Koshly has met the Russian ambassador in Libya to discuss new horizons for economic cooperation between the two countries.

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Mina Monir
During the meeting, Mr. al-Koshly and the Russian ambassador discussed the legal situation of the Russian companies operating in Libya and the possibilities for enhancing the commercial cooperation between Moscow and Tripoli. The meeting comes before the important decision taken by the Russian president Dimitri Medvedev to lift the embargo on the supply of Russian arms to Libya, which was initially put in place in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1970, adopted on 26 February 2011, shortly after the outbreak of the revolution. Although the Security Council voted to lift the ban in a further resolution (No. 2009) on 16 September 2011, Russia chose to keep its own embargo in place. RussianLibyan relations witnessed uneasiness due to the former’s hesitation to support the Libyan revolution against Colonel Gaddafi, who was one of the main importers of arms from Russia. Russia was the main provider of arms to the former regime with sales accounting for 12 percent of Russia’s arms exports in 2010, at a value of $10 billion. Senior figures within Libya’s new military establishment have also said that around 80 per cent of Libyan officers sent overseas for training during the Gaddafi era went to Russia. However, there is considerable progress being made in the relations between the two countries on the level of economy and business.The cooperation between Libya and Russia in the fields of energy and agriculture appears promising.
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Business News

Business News
Released:  09/05/20122012-05-09
Word count:  213

A number of businessmen assured CNN that Libyan economic life in Tripoli is now fully recovered.

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Mina Monir
The group of businessmen affirmed that the business process is back to its natural situation and that the wheel of economic recovery is running in Libya. The manager of Radisson Blue Hotel in Tripoli, Costa Korotsidis, told CNN that he is confident that the situation will improve throughout this year and the coming year as well. Muhammed Dawis, an Algerian businessman, told CNN that he believes in a new Libya, opened up for the contribution of all Libyans. He also supports the raised level of transparency in the political atmosphere. People in Tripoli, according to CNN, believe that the restoration of life in the streets and formerly abandoned quarters in the last few months indicates the extent to which economic life is getting back to normal. These statements are consistent with the considerable progress in oil and gas production, as well as the sectors of industry and construction. The levels of oil production are rising to reach the pre-uprisings levels, which indicates the recovery of production processes in Libya. This May, Tripoli is hosting several conferences to encourage investment in Libya. The process of rebuilding the Libyan infrastructure has been the major focus of the Libya Build 2012 conference. This significant international participation in this conferencedemonstrated the great global interest in operating in Libya.
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  09/05/20122012-05-09
Word count:  283

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian energy group OMV's first-quarter profit beat expectations as rising output from Libya helped earnings grow.

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Reuters
Clean CCS earnings before interest and tax - which exclude one-offs and unrealised gains from valuing inventories - rose 9 percent to 800 million euros, compared with a forecast for 755 million in a Reuters poll.

That beat even the highest estimate in the poll.

Libyan production at the end of April was running at 85-90 percent of levels achieved before the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, OMV said on Wednesday, adding it expected "fluctuations" in output there.

Chief Executive Gerhard Roiss said stronger oil prices and the very cold central European winter supported results in the quarter, while he expected margins for refining and marketing margins to remain under pressure this year.

Output from Libya, recovering from the turmoil of civil unrest, helped OMV boost production to 299,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in the first quarter from 289,000 in the previous quarter, OMV had said last month.

Average production in Libya was around 25,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in the quarter. This was partly offset by reduced production in Romania and lower volumes in New Zealand.

Libya had provided a tenth of OMV's global output in 2010, but production fell sharply when the revolt against Gaddafi's rule broke out, forcing OMV to withdraw staff for security reasons. OMV has a long-term stake there with 12 exploration and production licences and petroleum contracts running up to 2032.

The first quarter also saw the first successful Black Sea well, which OMV said in February could be its biggest gas find ever.

OMV shares have been trading at around 5.8 times 12-month forward earnings, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, which weights analysts' estimates by previous accuracy.

That puts it at a discount to peers like Repsol, Eni and Total at 6.4 to 7 times.
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  08/05/20122012-05-08
Word count:  162

FRANKFURT, May 7 (Reuters) - Libya's oil sector sent 469,000 tonnes of crude to Germany in March, down from 779,000 tonnes in February but putting it fifth-highest in Germany's oil imports, economic and foreign trade statistics office BAFA data showed on Monday.

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Reuters
The figure was not dissimilar to 496,000 tonnes received in March 2011, shortly after fighting broke out between rebels and forces loyal to former leader Muammar Gaddafi, damaging oil installations and disrupting exports throughout 2011. In January-March taken together, Libya ranked fourth after Russia, Britain and Norway, after it had recaptured typical monthly export levels to Germany in January and February. Germany's total January-March oil import bill was 20 percent up from a year earlier at 15 billion euros ($19.67 billion), BAFA said. Germany's average border oil prices in the three months rose by 17.2 percent from Jan-March 2011 to 666.98 euros a tonne. Oil imports by volume rose 2.7 percent on a year earlier to 22.4 million tonnes in the same three months. Some 38.8 percent of oil imports in the year to date came from Russia, 25.7 percent from the British and Norwegian North Sea and 19.8 percent from OPEC members, among others. Another noticeable factor was Syria, which is engulfed in violence and has sent no oil for a fourth c onsecutive month.
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  08/05/20122012-05-08
Word count:  211

The Ministry of Industry has declared the successful manufacturing of the first Libyan bus after the revolution.

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Mina Monir
The bus has been manufactured by the Truck and Bus Company in the Tajura Industrial Zone, East of Tripoli. The company manager Muhammed Andalusy was reported by The Libya Herald as saying that the bus was completely Libyan designed and manufactured and meets international specifications with a capacity of 49 passengers and a 450 bhp engine. Mr. Andalusy pointed out that the expected use for this bus will be the transport of passengers between the centres of population in Libya because of the comfort for travellers that the bus offers. The manager of the Truck and Bus Company Abdul-Hakim Shohayma said that the bus is one of the modern models that could be used to transport tourist groups to different sites in Libya. The bus, he adds, is equipped with audio-visual facilities and high class air conditioning. The Truck and Bus Company has had a long-standing agreement with the Italian company IVECO to assemble buses. The production of the bus is part of the progress in the fields of industry and transportation that serves the Libyan economy. The Minister of Economy Ahmed al-Koshly stated that the Libyan government is ready to provide the required facilities to help encourage foreign investors to operate in Libya and particularly in the field of industry and construction.
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Political News

Political News
Released:  07/05/20122012-05-07

Registration for next month's elections is taking place in Libya. It's the first stets towards achieving democracy after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, but already various groups and ensuring they're voices will be heard. Al Jazeera's Alex Gatopolo

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Mina Monir
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  07/05/20122012-05-07
Word count:  288

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has denied its eastern subsidiary has reduced oil production due to protests that have closed off its headquarters for nearly two weeks but the unit maintained on Sunday that it had cut output.

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Reuters
A spokesman for Benghazi-based Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) said on Saturday it had cut output by 30,000 barrels per day since Thursday, in a setback for Libya's oil industry, which has recovered well since the end of last year's conflict that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. In a statement on its website, the NOC said Agoco's crude oil production "remains the same". Agoco spokesman Abdeljalil Mayuf reiterated on Sunday that production was at 340,000 bpd from 370,000 bpd earlier in the week. Protesters have prevented employees from entering Agoco's office since April 23, calling for more transparency over how Libya's new rulers are spending its money and demanding more jobs for young people. Meetings have been held between civil society groups and the demonstrators, who have pitched a tent outside Agoco's office, but these have failed to end the protests. Agoco had threatened to cut production if no solution was found by May 3. Mayuf said a meeting had been held on Saturday with the Benghazi high security committee, representatives of the protesters and Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the ruling National Transitional Council, over the matter. "We are still in the same situation, we are waiting for a solution," Mayuf said. Oil accounts for the bulk of Libya's economy and exports. The North African country is close to returning to pre-war production of 1.6 million bpd, and its recovery contributed to a rise in output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in April, despite a drop in Iranian supply. Agoco, which produced 425,000 bpd of crude oil before the war, acted as the de facto state oil company of the Libyan uprising as international sanctions imposed during the conflict prevented dealings with the NOC. (Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Anthony Barker)
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  07/05/20122012-05-07
Word count:  225

The Libyan Minister of Communications and Transport Yosef al-Wuheshy expressed the state’s willingness to support tourism investment in Libya to support the national income.

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Mina Monir
In a press conference held in the newly reopened Ghadames Airport, Mr. al-Wuheshy stated that his ministry puts the support of tourism on the top of its list of priorities. Ghadames airport was reopened, after one year of closure due to the uprisings, as a part of a larger plan undertaken by the ministry to facilitate regional and touristic transportations, as well as other future economic activities. The Libyan Minister of Economy, Ahmed al-Koshly, expressed the ministry’s readiness to provide the required facilities and ideas to help foreign investors to operate in Libya and provide the necessary facilitation through its Privatization and Investment Board (PIB) to create suitable job opportunities for local residents in the border areas. Al-Koshly declared that an agreement has been signed between Libya and Algeria to develop the border area between the two neighbouring countries since it is an active commercial region. The development programme is expected to help in limiting the illegal activities that take place in the border region, particularly the smuggling of goods. Ghadames was marginalized in the time of Gaddafi. Today, it is back to the top of the state’s priorities and its airport will start by receiving two weekly flights from Tripoli. It is expected that Ghadames will attract tourists from all over the world who will come for its archaeological and historical sites.
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Business News

Business News
Released:  04/05/20122012-05-04
Word count:  1027

Malta’s long-standing and deep connections with Libya are an opportunity for American companies, Lorraine Harriton, the US State Department Special Representative for Business tells The Times Business in an interview during a visit to Malta.

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Mina Monir
“We know that Malta has long-standing and deep connections with Libya which I think is an opportunity for American companies to leverage. It will be some time before Libya really has the type of infrastructure and environment that makes it easy for companies to conduct business in Libya so we think there are opportunities for American businesses to use Malta’s business connections and its strategic location to access Libya. I am here today to have discussions with the Maltese government on how we might be able to collaborate and support American businesses,” she says.

She adds that the US is very grateful to the Maltese government for all it did during the Libyan conflict “to support our agenda and be a partner in that”.

Ms Harriton, who also spoke at a business breakfast on Intellectual Property Rights protection during her visit to Malta, says American companies are very interested in the opportunities in Libya. In fact, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez was recently part of a trade mission to Libya organised by the Libya US Business Association to assess the opportunities there.

“The visit was part of an overall programme that the US government has done with Libya and the American business community. Our Ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, has been having conference calls on a regular basis to keep the American business community up to speed on what’s going on in Libya.”

She says the US government is renewing its commercial relationship with the government and people of Libya “and our recent trade mission included companies like Dow Chemicals, GE and several other high level representatives of the private sector.”

Ms Harriton says that besides the energy sector there are other US economic interests in Libya.

“There’s a tremendous amount of infrastructure work that needs to be done and all the major infrastructure companies are interested, the airport, roads and water. There are opportunities in IT, telecommunications, and then over time, the tourism and hotel industry and the retail industry.”

Special representative Harriton is responsible for promoting US commercial interests worldwide. What message is she giving about the state of the American economy?

“The US economy is recovering, it’s growing and what we are really focused on, on my agenda, are two areas. One is supporting President Barack Obama’s national export initiative, which is to double exports over five years from 2009 to 2014. This is on track and in the first two years we grew 15 per cent, so it’s been very successful, but we have a lot of work to do to continue to meet that agenda. Dealing with Libya is part of our overall national export initiative.

“The other area we are focused on is promoting foreign direct investment into the US. In fact I am on my way to India where we have an opportunity to expand both our exports as well as Indian investment into the US.”

She says that the US State Department has a big focus on helping American businesses and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has delivered a number of major speeches on economic statecraft – a recognition that in the 21st century supporting American businesses and exporting the US’s economic agenda are an important part of American foreign policy agenda. “Things like working closely with Malta to work together in Libya, for example, and even the discussion I had today on Intellectual Property Rights protection and how we can collaborate on that is part of economic statecraft. We believe that strong bilateral and multilateral economic relationships support our overall foreign policy agenda.”

She says that over the last decade military and security issues were really the focus, especially after 9/11 but as they look at the outlook for the next years the US’s economic relationships are really going to be critical for America’s overall foreign policy and political agenda.

“We see this around the world, we see a lot of shifts, to where economic relationships are going to be and we see a shift towards Asia. While we maintain our strong relationship with Europe we must also look towards the emerging powers in Asia,” she says.

How does her office overlap with the US Commerce Department and the Office of the Special Trade representative?

“That’s a very good question. The Commerce Department is responsible for the 70 largest markets around the world and they have staff in each country. In countries like Malta we (the State Department) partner with the Commerce Department so that they can provide their services and we have economic officers – so the State Department is responsible for the commercial relationship. We also have a very collaborative inter-agency process where we work together on common agendas, so my role – I work very closely with the Commerce Department – is to focus on this economic statecraft agenda.”

As for the potential for increased business ties between Malta and the US she says Malta is really moving to develop its information innovation society so there’s a lot of potential for growth with some of the technology companies. “I know there’s been a lot of cooperation already with HP, IBM and Microsoft,” Ms Harriton, who spent more than 25 years in the IT sector as a senior executive at IBM and Network Computing Devices, points out.

Asked whether the Arab Spring offers an economic opportunity for the US Ms Harriton says the American government has been very supportive of the new regimes that have been put in place in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

“We are doing a lot to try to provide the type of aid they need, and in Libya in particular to really build up the commercial relationship. The Arab Spring is really about jobs and economic opportunity. In Tunisia the revolution started by somebody saying: ‘How do I earn a living for my family’. Our programmes in these countries are really about providing economic opportunities.”

Regarding whether the US presidential election will be dominated by the state of the US economy, Ms Harriton is completely non-committal, saying: “Nobody knows what’s going to happen six months from now!”

[ Source: Times of Malta ]
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Business News

Business News
Released:  04/05/20122012-05-04
Word count:  76

Libya Build records a strong French presence with 42 companies in different economic sectors.

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Mina Monir
Ubifrance, the French Agency for International Business Development has announced that 42 French companies will exhibit at the Libya Build — the 8th International Building and Construction Exhibition – May 20-24th. It makes France among one of the larger national participants at the event. The French exhibitors will be in pavillions Nº 69A and 69B. To find out more details about the participating companies, guides are are available at: http://www.libyabuild.com/pdf/libyabuild_12_catalog_internet.pdf
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Financial News

Financial News

Post-Gadaffi Libya could generate significant economic and social benefits for Tunisia and its other neighbors, according to a new report from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

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Mina Monir
The report, in the AfDB’s latest North Africa Quarterly Analytical, is entitled: “New Libya, New Neighborhood: What Opportunities for Tunisia?” The Libyan crisis had adverse effects on Tunisia, according to an earlier report by the Bank. However, the continued presence of Libyan nationals in Tunisia, who sought refuge across the border during the troubles, and high demand for Tunisian products have sent positive signals and contributed to the Tunisian economy.

Also, Libya offers job opportunities to Tunisian workers. Some Tunisians returned home during the period of civil strife.

However, a number of obstacles to trade, investment and labour mobility could continue, at least for the short term.

Those obstacles include residence and work permits for Tunisians in Libya, business creation and transfer guarantee problems, the widespread presence of contraband goods and the development of a black market.

The aim of the AfDB paper is to identify opportunities for greater integration and to propose a number of policy options and measures that might enable Tunisia to play a central role in Libya and to benefit from its reconstruction.

Various measures are needed. The first is more assistance to the banking sector, including the harmonization of payment procedures to support trade and investment between the two neighboring countries. Also, an immigration support strategy is necessary to identify the Libyan labour market needs and to manage the migratory flows.

The transport links between the two countries need improving to boost trade flows and labour mobility.

Also, regional integration could receive a boost if a Tunisian-Libyan economic community began to evolve from the new relationship between the two post-revolution countries. [Source: African Development Bank report]
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Business News

Business News
Released:  03/05/20122012-05-03
Word count:  213

A Danish industrial and business delegation has been briefed by the Libyan Minister of Planning Isa Tuwerji.

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Mina Monir
Mr Tuwerji gave a full briefing on the Libyan economy to explain the potential business opportunities that could be exploited by the Danish delegation. The delegation comprised more than 25 representatives of giant industrial and business companies in Denmark who showed their interest in investing in Libya. the Danish Chargé d’Affaires Anders Tang Friborg spoke of Denmark’s pride in the support they gave to Libya through the NATO coalition. Highlighting some similarities between Libya and Denmark in terms of population size and the desire to establish an effective welfare model for their citizens, he confirmed Denmark’s commitment to establishing strong commercial ties with Libya and answering Libya’s requests for skills and technology transfer. With a thriving private sector made up largely of small and medium enterprises with a wide range of expertise, Danish companies had a lot to offer, he said. According to Libya Herald, Libya’s Minister of Planning Isa Tuwejri recognised Denmark’s contribution through NATO and praised the Danish for their support of the NTC. Indicating the many challenges that Libya faces the Minister stressed the importance of economic diversification and encouraging the growth of Libya’s private sector in order to tackle the high rates of unemployment and move away from a reliance on oil revenues.
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