Libya’s era of centralised, state-controlled economy is over: government official – LibyaHerald

By Sami Zaptia.

GDP chief Jamal Lamushi (left) says the era of Libya’s state-controlled economy is over (Photo: Sami Zaptia)

Tripoli, 22 November 2021:

Jamal Lamushi, the head of Libya’s Privatization and Investment Board (PIB), said the era of centralized state control of the economy is over in Libya.

Lamushi was speaking yesterday at the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya (AmCham Libya) invitational event at the Mahari Radisson Blue Hotel, welcoming the first US business delegation to visit Libya in ten years. The delegation included representatives from Bechtel, Caterpillar, GE, Hill and Pratt and Whitney.

He said Libya has all the fundamentals for investment, including its strategic location in sub-Saharan Africa – which he sees as the next global growth area.

Lamushi also reiterated that Libya has a lot of growth ahead of it as it includes development in all sectors. ”We still need everything”.

Demography

The GDP chief also underlined the strategic importance and dynamics of Libyan demography, with 50-60% of its population classified as young. All these need to find a job, to get married, to buy houses, to furnish these houses with beds, refrigerators, ovens, air conditioners, etc.

Housing a defined growth zone

Housing is very important, he stressed, pointing to the fact that under the Gaddafi era, the sector was ignored for decades. He said there are plans for new large, modern, smart cities outside of the current main urban areas. This was a specific area for future growth, he suggested.

Universities and digital transformation

Another area that Lamushi highlighted to his audience of potential foreign investors was the education sector and universities. He said Libya should sign agreements with American universities to help it with its digital transformation.

The coronavirus has highlighted weaknesses and needs

The GDP chief said the coronavirus pandemic and the initial shortage of its vaccines highlighted the need to prioritize food safety and drug safety.

Renewable energy is an obvious sector

Lamushi concluded his opening presentation before opening it up to detailed questions and answers saying that Libya intends to invest in the renewable energy sector, which he has spent little time on as he considers it as an obvious area for development.

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