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Investment In Libya

 

Foreign investment in Libya is regulated by the Libyan Foreign Investment Board (LFIB). The board implements the various procedures required, like processing application and licence forms, offering advise and funding.  Among the most lucrative sectors of the Libyan economy are oil & natural gas, construction, tourism, health, finance, technology and industry. However, foreign investors are authorised by laws (5) and (7) of year 2003 to invest in most of the above sectors including oil related services but not in drilling and exploration. Libya has shown serious interest in opening its gates to international investors and as a result a number of foreign contracts, worth nearly 40 billion US dollars, have been signed since 2006. Libya has also announced that it will open the capital of a number of state-owned companies to foreign investors. The aim of the LFIB is to improve and benefit the national economy by creating opportunities and jobs for local people, and to create a competitive investment environment capable of attracting serious foreign investors.

 

The Main Sectors of Investment In Libya

Law 147 of 2004 specifies the following fields in which foreign companies can invest in Libya. Some of the following projects must be undertaken in association with the corresponding Libyan authority, such as educational exams (to meet Libyan standards), and the health authority to meet Libyan food standards.

  • Health

    • Construction of hospitals
    • Laboratories, analysis and diagnosis centres
    • Manufacturing of medicines & medical requirements
    • Manufacturing & maintenance of medical equipments.
  • Transportation

    • Construction & management of airports
    • Handling & land services in airports
    • Building & application of civil aviation systems
    • Air transportation
    • Construction of roads, highways, subways and railroads
    • Construction, improvement & operation of seaports
  • Industry

    • Cement industry
    • Electro-industries
    • Household articles
    • Plastic industry
    • Leather industries
    • Fodders industry
    • Flour milling & packing
    • Food industries
    • Mechanical industries
    • Chemical industry
    • Manufacturing & maintenance of fishing equipment
    • Manufacturing of machines, equipment and spare parts
    • Iron & steel industry
    • Waste recovery industry
  • Education

    • Construction of universities & education institutes
    • Training & vocational centres
    • Schools & International institutes
  • Agricultural & Maritime

    • Cultivation of farm crops & fodders
    • Operation of poultry parents station
    • Aquaculture
    • Fish canning
  • Tourism

    • Hotels, tourist resorts, property and tourist villages
    • Administration of tourism structures
    • Construction of yachting utilities
    • Construction of leisure & entertainment utilities
  • Public Utilities

    • Construction of residential properties
    • Construction & development of domestic gas network
    • Water desalination plants
    • Waste water purification & drainage
    • Waste recycling factories
  • Oil & Gas

    • Oil and gas production and exploration projects are governed by oil law (25) and its amendments.

 

Benefits & Incentives For Foreign Investors

  • Very low energy costs
  • Strategic location (linking Africa with the world)
  • Exemption from custom duties and tax on reinvested  earnings
  • Free repatriation of earned profits
  • Free transfer of capital between countries
  • New and liberal social laws
  • Opportunities to invest in the Free Trade Zones
  • Ownership of property & project ownership transfer
  • Guarantees against nationalisation
  • Advise, support and assistance
  • An opportunity to achieve serious financial rewards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Libyan Foreign Investment Board (LFIB)

 

The LFIB was established as a key component of investment law  (5) of 1997 to facilitate investment procedures for foreign investors, simplify application forms, and accelerate the process of creating businesses in Libya. Law (5) provides incentives and exemption from corporate income tax for up to eight years for foreign investors who invest in joint ventures with Libyan businesses, as well as exemption from customs duty and taxes on import of equipment to launch and sustain investment initiatives in the country.

 

Address  & Contact Details of The Libyan Foreign Investment Board

20 Ben Gheshshir Road
Tel: (+218) (21) 3608183, 3609613
Fax: (+218) (21) 3617918


The Objectives of LFIB

  • Receive & consider applications for foreign capital investment.
  • Issue licenses & approvals required for investment projects.
  • Provide advice, information and support to investors.
  • Identify & promote investment opportunities.
  • Develop investment programs & promotional activities to attract foreign investors.
  • Recommend or renew exemptions, facilities and incentives for investment projects.
  • Examine complaints by investors without affecting investors' right to legal action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

logo of Tripoli's LIA
Tripoli's LIA Logo

 

Libyan Investment Authority (LIA)

 

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) (المؤسسة الليبية للاستثمار) was created by Gaddafi's government in 2006. It was established by the GPC's Decree 208. As Africa's largest sovereign wealth fund the LIA  manages Libya's investments in various sectors of the economy including  shares, bonds, oil, gas, real estate and agriculture. Nearly 50% of LIA’s assets are held in cash and equities.

During the UN-bombing campaign the fund was managed by an executive group appointed by the self-appointed NTC. In January 2012 the NTC appointed a "board of trustees" for the $65 billion Libyan Investment Authority, but no details were given.

After 2015 the UN-imposed PC took over control of  Tripoli's LIA and installed its own Chairman for the board. It is widely reported now that the LIA is drowned in corruption and divided between three offices. 

Nearly 80% of LIA's funds had been frozen by the UN sanctions after the 2011 February Operation. Some sources say the fund is far larger than the estimated $65 billion. By 2014 the fund was said to worth around $67 billion. The fund was reported to consists of:

  • About $21 billion in cash.
  • $10.8 billion in equities.
  • $9.7 billion in bonds.
  • $8.3 billion in strategic shareholdings.
  • $4 billion in hedge funds, structured products and derivatives.
  • And the remainder in other investments.

 

 

Subsideries

LIA is a consortium of over 550 companies. The chairman of Bayda's LIA said some of these companies were taken (or stolen) by some countries, which according to other sources include Uganda and Chad. 

The LIA has five subsidiaries:

  1. Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) - market value: around 5 billion  (http://lafico.ly/)
  2. The Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP) - market value: around 4.1 billion
  3. The Long Term Portfolio (LTP - market value: around 10 billion
  4. The Oil Invest Group (Oil Invest) - market value: around 1.4 billion
  5. Libyan Local Investment & Development Fund (LLIDF) - market value: around 11 billion

The Libyan African Investment Company (LAICO) (http://www.laico.ly/), which was established in 1990, was later acquired by the Libya Africa Portfolio (LAP).

 

Who Controls LIA?

Legally and constitutionally speaking the only legislative authority in Libya is the parliament (The House of Representatives: HoR) and thus its transitional government based in Bayda. This means that all decisions coming from the UN-imposed PC (and its illegal and unapproved GNA) are illegal and unconstitutional. It is strange however to see the international community abandon the elected and legitimate government  and instead deal with the illegal government they imposed via the so-called Skhirat agreement (LPA). Ironically the whole world speaks of the GNA as the internationally-recognised government of Libya despite the fact that the GNA does not exist at all. See our GNA Ministries for detail.

Therefore, like many Libyan institutions, it seems there is the tendency to duplicate government departments, probably for future division of Libya. Hence, the LIA is also controlled by a number of competing bodies:

  • Tripoli office: Mr. Abdulmagid Breisha: Chairman of LIA - illegally replaced by the illegal PC (Presidency Council) with Mr. Ali Mahmoud
  • Bayda office: Dr. Adbussalam Alkezza: Chairman of LIA
  • Malta: according to a website claiming to be the website of the LIA but with .mt domain extension (lia.com.mt) the Tripoli's LIA's Board of Directors has approved the relocation of the general office  to a temporary headquarters in Malta in November 2014.
  • London: a number of sources also speak of a London office that deals with legal cases.

The Bayda office says the approximate one billion invested in Bahrain, mostly in the majority Libyan-owned ABC (Arab Banking Corporation), is not sanctioned by the UN, and that Tripoli's LIA's Chairman Mr. Ali Mahmoud's recent visit to Bahrain comes as an attempt to claim some of these funds (that is the interest from the funds) to fund the PC in Tripoli. Dr. Adbussalam Alkezza urges and even warns the ABC to protect Libya's funds by dealing only with the legitimate LIA that is approved by the elected government of Libya [see Updates tab for details].

However, according to the political analyst and writer Mr. M. Baayou the PC's president, Mr. Sarraj, has promised some of his officers to buy them weapons, and that Mr. Sarraj is surrounded by rouge advisors who are attempting to claim some of these funds to sponsor their forthcoming election campaigns [see Updates tab for details].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interim Steering Committee (ISC)

 

In August 2016, the UN-imposed PC appointed an "Interim Steering Committee" (ISC) to control the LIA. Apparently the ISC was created  to protect and preserve all LIA's assets and investments. The president of the ISC is Dr. Ali Mahmoud. Members of the ISC include:

  • Abdulazeez Khaled Ali
  • Alhadi Najimeddin Kaba
  • Khaled Khalifa Altaher
  • Ahmed Abdullah Amar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investment Documents & Procedure

 

 

Approval of Investment Projects

The Libyan Foreign Investment Board will process the application, and after the decision of the Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Economy and Trade the Board will provide the investor with the licence to commence work. The first five years of business are exempt of tax.

  • The application to establish an investment project must be submitted to the Libyan Foreign Investment Board.
  • The application form is obtained from the Libyan Foreign Investment Board.
  • The application must be accompanied by:
    • certificate of nationality
    • memorandum detailing the capital to be invested
    • technical specifications and timetable
    • raw materials to be used in the project
    • workforce to be employed
    • official abstract of the commercial register from country of origin and its Arabic translation.

Requests and information relating to investment in Libya are obtained from the Libyan Foreign Investment Board. Requests to open a business branch in Libya must be addressed to the Department of Business Registration at the Ministry of Economy & Trade. Business and businessmen information and resources are obtained from the Libyan Businessmen.

 

The Investment Register

Foreign investors and businesses have a number of investment options available to them.

  • Joint Stock Company.
  • Limited Liability Company.
  • Branch of a foreign company.
  • Individual project .

 

Documents required for the registration

  1. The memorandum and articles of association for the project.
  2. Document of empowerment of the formal delegation to administer the project.
  3. Samples of the project’s manager's signature.
  4. Bank statement showing at least 10 % of the capital to be invested.

 

Registration Fees to Represent a Foreign Company in Libya

The fees for a Libyan company to become an agent of and register a commercial foreign agency or company are as follows:

  • It costs approximately $25,000 to register a branch of a foreign company in Libya.
  • Registration application -- LD 150
  • Renewal LD 100
  • Amendment LD 70
  • Addition LD 50
  • Withdrawal LD 50
  • Deposit LD 40
  • Review LD 40
  • Complaint LD 26
  • Commercial Register LD 85
  • Chamber of Commerce registration – LD 700
  • No other fees are required.

 

Important documents and procedure for starting an investment project in Libya.

Registration Fees .

Economic file strategy and policy .

HS Code of products with names in Arabic and English .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

 

 

The Libyan Businessmen Council

This is the office that deals with all the matters relating foreign businessmen and business opportunities in Libya.
Tel:
(+ 218) 21 3350213
(+ 218) 21 3350214
Fax:
(+ 218) 21 3350374
(+ 218) 21 3350439

 

Libyan Stock Market (LSM)

Omar Almukhtar Street
Tripoli
www.lsm.gov.ly

 

World Trade Centre Tripoli

Alfath Tower
18th Floor, Flat 186-189
Tripoli, Libya
Tel: (+218( (21) 3351326
Fax: (+218( (21) 3351323

 

Libyan Foreign Bank

Alkurnish Road
Tripoli
www.lfbank.ly

 

United Bank For Trade & Investment

Gurji Road
Tripoli
www.ubci.ly

 

 

Chambers of Commerce

 

General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture

P.O.Box 12556
26 Bandong Street
Tripoli, Libya
Tel: (+218) 21 4441457/8, 4441613
Fax: (+218) 21 3340155

 

Tripoli Chamber Of Commerce

Tripoli, Libya
Tel: (+218) 21 3333755 +218 21 3336855
Fax: (+218) 21 3332655

 

Benghazi Chamber Of Commerce

P.O. Box 208N/AN/A
Benghazi, Libya
Tel: ( +218) 61 80971, ( +218) 61 88790
Fax: (+ 218) 61 80761

 

Misrata Chamber Of Commerce

P.O. Box 84
Misrata, Libya
Tel: (+ 218) 51 610829
Fax: (+218) 51 616497

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updates

 

 

August 2017

الاستثمارات الليبية في الخارج . . . المؤامرة الكبرى
Libyan investment abroad: the big conspiracy

 

 

August 2017

Why is there a cash crisis in Libya?

 

 

 

May 2017

Societe Generale (SOGN.PA)

The  LIA accused SocGen of “fraudulent" and "corrupt" activity involving five trades worth $2.1 billion. The deals were executed between 2007 and 2009. In May 2017 the LIA and Societe Generale have signed a secret deal, which they called a "confidential agreement" to settle the dispute. Societe Generale had apologised to LIA and regretted the affair which it said was due to "lack of caution of some of its employees". FT said  Societe Generale "said it was paying €963m as part of the Libyan settlement."

 

 

October 2016

Goldman Sachs

The LIA lost its case against Goldman Sachs. The LIA claimed that Goldman Sachs forced LIA into nine "risky derivative trades" that cost the LIA $1.2 billion but made profit for Goldman Sachs totaling $200 million. The LIA said Goldman exploited the LIA’s limited financial experience. The High Court judge, Mrs Justice Rose, dismissed the case.