The challenges facing privatization of infrastructure projects in Libya
Salama, H. and Flanagan, R. (2005) The challenges facing privatization of infrastructure projects in Libya. In: QUT Research week 2005, Brisbane.
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Libya with its strategic location and natural resources stands as a crucial link between the Arab world, Europe, and Africa. The people of Libya have an optimistic outlook with regard to the Libyan economy after the suspension of the United Nations sanctions in 1999 that had been imposed on Libya in 1992, as well as the recent emphasis on privatization from the government. Since then, local and foreign investors have been encouraged to take a more prominent role in order to help privatize some of the state run-industries; the attention to privatization is aimed to help Libya’s economic growth and reduce its heavy dependency on oil revenues. Considering the economic situation, Libya is a rich country. However, it needs to modernize, it needs more and better infrastructure, it needs non-oil based financing, furthermore, it needs to develop a financial model for development and investment from the private sector. Although the Libyan government is working on the improvement of the business environment to make it more attractive for foreign investors in a way to move towards privatization, they have ignored some of the challenges that privatization will be facing in Libya. Privatization can not be implemented overnight. They have taken this for granted without careful consideration of its challenges. This paper attempts to investigate and discuss the challenges that need to be taken into account before privatization of infrastructure projects can be introduced in Libya. This paper is based on interviews with senior technical officials in the government.