About Libya Monitor
Business news and analysis
Profiles of around 600 Libyan companies and government entities, with management and contact details
Listings of local and international events on Libya
Stock market data
Economic and financial data from local and international sources
Periodic sector profiles, factsheets, reference documents and other analysis
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Libya is undergoing a transition towards a new political and economic structure in the wake of the 2011 revolution. This transition will be neither smooth nor short, but there is plenty to suggest that the country will be one of the region’s quickest-growing and highest-potential markets in the years ahead.
Libya is a vast country, the third largest in Africa, with a population of approximately 6.5 million. The oil sector remains the dominant driver of GDP growth, and generates more than 90% of government revenues and 95% of the country's export earnings. Output in the first half of 2013 averaged 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd), not far off pre-2011 levels, although disruption since July has caused production to plummet in the latter part of the year. Libya’s proven oil reserves are estimated at roughly 45 billion barrels, the largest in Africa.
Outside of the energy sector there is significant potential for growth in areas as diverse as telecoms, retailing, construction, real estate, tourism, mining, manufacturing and fishing. Education, transportation and healthcare provision were all highly underdeveloped under the Gaddafi regime and are in need of new investment and expertise. The Libyan private sector, moreover, is now playing a much greater role than it did before 2011.
Elections for a new assembly, the 200-member General National Congress (GNC), were held in July 2012. The new body is tasked with overseeing Libya's ongoing political transition, which includes the drafting of a new constitution, and to prepare for full legislative elections. The National Transitional Council (NTC), which was formed in February 2011 at the onset of the Libyan uprising, formally handed over power to the GNC in August 2012.
Doing business in the new Libya will require patience and homework, both for local and international companies. But the underlying economic, demographic and social factors point towards the country having a bright long-term future and offering significant business opportunities.