Libyan premier pledges reform

19th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 March 2004 , BERLIN - Libya plans tax cuts, privatization and economic reforms in a bid to draw foreign investors, Libyan Prime Minister Shurki Muhammad Ghanim said in a newspaper interview.

19 March 2004

BERLIN - Libya plans tax cuts, privatization and economic reforms in a bid to draw foreign investors, Libyan Prime Minister Shurki Muhammad Ghanim said in a newspaper interview.

"Our country can use high levels of foreign investment ... We are opening our doors and whatever we can get we will take," said Ghanim in an interview with the FT Deutschland newspaper.

Libya, which until now has followed a quasi socialist path, will create a special tax regime for investors offering tax-free returns for five to eight years, said Ghanim.

The banking system will be revamped to meet international standards and two major banks and 360 state companies will be privatized, he said.

Foreign companies will in the future be able to set up in Libya without Libyan partners.

Ghanim also said Libya planned to make a big drive to promote tourism as part of a bid to diversify the economy.

Libya had long been the target of international sanctions in connection with international terrorism and weapons of mass (WMD) destruction.

But most sanctions have been lifted since Libya agreed to pay compensation to families of victims of the Pan Am jetliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 and Tripoli's more recent agreement to give up WMD technology.

Remaining US sanctions on Libya are expected to be lifted later this year.

Germany is Libya's second biggest trade partner after Italy and Libya remains Germany's biggest Arab supplier of crude oil with sales worth about EUR 1.6 billion annually.

 

DPA

Subject: German News

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