A culture shift is needed if Western companies are to get a foothold in Libya, according to the Middle East Association, which is organising a networking conference in Tripoli in October.
James Lawday Director General of the Middle East Association, organiser of the networking conference Libya: Opportunity & Challenge, said: "September has seen the end of US and EU commercial sanctions against Libya. Meetings also took place in Tripoli and London to implement a new and more transparent system of granting Libyan oil exploration rights. But the infrastructure for clear and efficient access to the right people, government departments and national corporations still does not exist.
For example, a lot of people at the London oil meeting aren't at all sure what the outcome has been and what the next steps will be. This is an issue of communication - one aspect of an open market economy that needs to be developed."
Dr. Gavin Graham of Shell, one of the conference sponsors, said: "Sustainability is key and even companies like Shell with a long history of doing business in Libya need to understand and respond to the changing needs of government, society and the National Oil Company."
An HSBC spokesperson said: "Libya is a country of great significance and opportunity for anyone interested in developing business in the Middle East. HSBC is pleased to sponsor a forum for the discussion of investment prospects in Libya."
James Lawday of the MEA added: "Informal lines of command are often as important as formal lines of management, and this will be true for some time to come. Personal contact will be particularly important for service companies and consultancies across a wide range of sectors, from finance
to tourism, who wish to gain a foothold." (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )