Libya’s industrial sector slated for privatization
The Libyan government has announced plans to privatize over 300 state-owned companies by 2008. Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem said on Sunday, November 23, 2003, that heavy industry will be a target sector.
"The program calls for the privatization of heavy industry, particularly steel mills, chemical plants, truck and bus assembly lines, textile and shoe factories, as well as state farms," Ghanem said to local media.
Ghanem, former economy and trade minister, replaced Mubarak Abdallah Al-Shamikh as prime minister this past June following Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s decision to reform the country's socialist-based economy. Among Kadhafi’s main priorities is the privatization of the oil sector.
“The Central Bank will take charge of the sale of stocks of these firms and factories, until it is possible to create a stock market,” said Ghanem.
The UN Security Council ended 11-year-old sanctions against Libya in September after the Arab state finalized compensation agreements for the Pan Am and UTA airline bombings it was held responsible for in the late eighties. The release of billions of dollars in compensation for the families of the victims paves the way for international investment.
The Libyan economy depends heavily on the oil sector and remains largely state controlled and regulated. Real non-oil gross domestic product (GDP) grew by about three percent and deflation continued with a 9.8 percent decline in the consumer price index (CPI), according to IMF figures. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)