Libya has already started exporting oil to the United States, Libyan Prime Minister Shokri Ghanem announced. Speaking at a news conference following a meeting with US and British financial experts late Friday, Ghanem said Libyan-American relations have improved.
“Many of the obstacles between Libya and the US have been removed and many problems between us solved,” Ghanem said, according to DPA.
The announcement came less than a week after Tripoli and Washington resumed direct diplomatic ties, following a 24-year break.
Assistant Secretary of State William Burns made the announcement during a visit to Libya, where he met with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Burns formally inaugurated a new US liaison office in Tripoli.
Ghanem added that in its attempt to develop the economy, Libya intends to privatize 361 state-run companies. 160 such companies have already been privatized and multi-national companies have already been invited to “contribute to the ownership of these companies,” the Libyan PM disclosed.
“One hundred and sixty public companies have been transferred to the private sector and major international firms have been invited to take part in this privatization,” he conveyed.
The government later announced that a total of 360 companies would be privatized between 2004 and 2008. The capital of 54 of them is expected to be opened to international investors in July, according to the minister in charge of the program Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Fitissi.
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )