Kadhafi Says Long-Closed Libya Wants Foreign Investment
Libyan leader Moammer Kadhafi issued a rare call for foreign capital, telling a group of investors in Tripoli that his long-closed country was open to foreigners' money, state media reported Thursday.
"Libya is serious in its desire to encourage foreign investment and the participation of foreign capital in joint projects, not only in our country but also in (the rest of) Africa," Kadhafi told a gathering of some 170 business representatives, including some from Europe.
"The Libyan economic system is not opposed to investment, development, foreign capital and foreign participation," the Libyan leader said.
The comments were rare for Kadhafi, who as head of Libya claims to have built a political system unique to the world. Kadhafi's Jamahiriya, or People's Authority, has a completely pre-planned economy that is heavily dependent on oil revenue but has no foreign debt.
A member of the OPEC oil cartel, Libya has a production quota of 1,431,2000 barrels a day.
In April 1999, the United Nations ended seven years of sanction on Libya imposed for Tripoli's long refusal to turn over Libyans accused of the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people.
But the vehemently anti-US Kadhafi warned investors that they should oppose "those who attack development, investment and freedom of trade," accusing Washington of "through its attacks having prevented the development of several countries, ranging from African countries to Yugoslavia."
The Libyan leader said economic development needed "peace, cooperation and the abolition of embargoes and threats."
Participants at the Tripoli conference, called "Development and Investment in Libya," noted that Libya needs to assure 35 billion dollars of investment to carry out a five-year development plan due to start next year.
And Libya needs 150 billion dollars in investment over the next 20 years if it to assure at least five percent annual growth, they said – TRIPOLI (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)