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Libya: A Market of Opportunities

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					                                                                                                                 Libya                            11




Libya: A market
of opportunities
       EW people have better first-hand         cautiously optimistic that it will take


F      knowledge of the business
       landscape in Libya than Tarek
       Alwan.
  The 38-year-old managing director of
SOC Libya Ltd may live in London, where
                                                the right direction and fulfil its
                                                potential.
                                                  “With all our natural resources and
                                                the skills and education of the young
                                                population, we can be the most
his company is headquartered, but he’s a        prosperous nation in Africa,” he says.
Libyan national who has been back to            “You can see it happening now, but it
Tripoli twice since the fall of Gaddafi.        will take time.”
  And it’s that level of local expertise and      The British government, through
empathy with the market which he believes       UK Trade and Investment, is
gives SOC Libya the edge.                       encouraging companies to enter the
                                                Libyan market before rivals from          TAREK ALWAN: Optimistic
  The company, an independent advisory
and services consultancy that assists and       other countries fill the vacuum.
supports international companies entering        Tarek agrees that that there are many            best options, either by forming a
the Libyan market, was formed in 2008 by        opportunities across a whole range of             partnership or a joint venture. Preparation
Libyan, English and German professionals,       sectors, with health being one of the most        work can include establishing contacts with
and also has a Tripoli office.                  promising.                                        end users in the country.”
 Global Trader spoke to Tarek in                 “There is a great need for hospitals and           And once there, Tarek is confident that
December, while he was in Tripoli, where        medical supplies, along with construction,        British people will find that reconciliation
he said he found the city “much safer than      because of what happened to the cities            rather than recrimination is the order of the
expected.”                                      during the conflict,” he said.                    day on the streets.
  “Things are improving gradually and it’s        “Oil and gas, as you would expect, is still       “Generally the mood is good, with all
amazing to see people just getting on with      the main driver of Libya’s economy, but           Libyans eager to restore harmony, in spite
their lives. The new interim government         there are opportunities, too, in                  of some of the former divisions, although
has already been formed and it is slowly        infrastructure, communications, IT,               this is not going to happen completely
progressing,” he said. “There are a few         education and services. In fact Libya             overnight,” he said.
gunshots here and there by over-                requires everything from A-Z.”
                                                                                                  ● SOC Libya provides the following
enthusiastic young fighters, but measures         But quite apart from the fact that his          services: Finding the right business
are being taken to stop that.”                  company is specifically designed to               partners, promoting international
  Tarek, of course, has seen Libya in all its   facilitate trade between foreign companies        companies, registering companies, opening
many hues – from being a land of limitless      and Libya, Tarek believes that it would be        branches or representative offices, due
opportunities to one cowering under the         foolish for Brits to enter the market without     diligences, arranging business missions to
tyranny of a dictator and his sons.             doing the best research.                          Libya, appointments setting, drafting &
  There were times when British companies        “Unless British companies get help and           negotiating contracts, implanting
found it impossible to do business there,       assistance, and perhaps link up with local        agreement and contracts, market research
followed by times when they were enticed        partners, it can be very challenging, costly      & analysis, assisting business
by promises of it being the new Klondike.       and time-consuming, and ultimately                Improvement, ongoing support, consulting
  Now the country stands at another             doomed to failure. My advice is to do lots of     on law issues, regulations, tax and legal
important crossroads, but Tarek is              preparation work and decide what are the          opinions. Visit www.soclibya.com/



  AIR WE GO AS ETIHAD LAUNCHES SERVICE TO TRIPOLI
 THE rising confidence in Libya was reflected on January 17                travellers. Tripoli is Etihad Airways’ fifth African destination
 when Etihad Airways conducted its maiden flight from Abu                  and marks the first time these two Arab capitals have been
 Dhabi to Tripoli – the airline’s first new destination of 2012.           commercially linked by air.”
  The service is now operating three times a week and is the                 UK-based aviation analyst Saj Ahmad said: “With Libya
 sole direct commercial flight between the UAE and Libya’s                 devoid of its own national airline, Etihad is stepping into a void
 capital.                                                                  that will yield significant revenue in the absence of
  Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer James               competition. UAE airlines, both full and low cost, will no doubt
 Hogan said: “Libya is a beautiful country that over the coming            look to make their presence felt, especially since infighting in
 months and years will have much to                                                                the country has receded and economic
 offer both business and leisure                                                                   growth opportunities start to increase.”

				
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Description: This is the full interview I made with Global Trader where I talked about the opportunities Libya will be offering and of course the challenges but generally, I am very optimistic about the future of Libya "FEW people have better first-hand knowledge of the business landscape in Libya than Tarek Alwan. The 38-year-old managing director of SOC Libya Ltd may live in London, where his company is headquartered, but he’s a Libyan national who has been back to Tripoli twice since the fall of Gaddafi. And it’s that level of local expertise and empathy with the market which he believes gives SOC Libya the edge. The company, an independent advisory and services consultancy that assists and supports international companies entering the Libyan market, was formed in 2008 by Libyan, English and German professionals, and also has a Tripoli office. Global Trader spoke to Tarek in December, while he was in Tripoli, where he said he found the city “much safer than expected.” “Things are improving gradually and it’s amazing to see people just getting on with their lives. The new interim government has already been formed and it is slowly progressing,” he said. “There are a few gunshots here and there by overenthusiastic young fighters, but measures are being taken to stop that.” Tarek, of course, has seen Libya in all its many hues – from being a land of limitless opportunities to one cowering under the tyranny of a dictator and his sons. There were times when British companies found it impossible to do business there, followed by times when they were enticed by promises of it being the new Klondike. Now the country stands at another important crossroads, but Tarek is cautiously optimistic that it will take the right direction and fulfill its potential. “With all our natural resources and the skills and education of the young population, we can be the most prosperous nation in Africa,” he says. “You can see it happening now, but it will take time.” The British government, through