By Hadi Fornaji
Tripoli, 13 July:
With the success of the revolution, Libyans swung overnight from being completely repressed under a brutal dictatorship . . .[restrict]to suddenly being empowered, said Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Kib.
In the first of what will doubtless be a series of valedictory interviews, the out-going premier told AFP that as a result of their freedom: “Every Libyan wants to show that they own this place”. However, he added, this challenging behaviour could nevertheless have a positive side, as demonstrated by a successful election that was for the most part trouble-free. He described the 7 July ballot as the interim government’s “crowning achievement.”
In a wide ranging interview with the French news agency Kib said that he was extremely optimistic about the future for investors in Libya. In the months before the elections hundreds of foreign businesses had been arriving to assess the investment climate and seek out local partners.
“Libya will surprise the world,” he said. While the main emphasis was likely to be on oil and gas investments to boost the 1.6 boe/d production, other opportunities abounded. He listed tourism, basic infrastructure such as roads and housing, health and education, airports and e-governance.
“I guarantee to, any sector you think of, there are plenty of projects to work on” he said.
In his view, Libya was heading toward a knowledge-based market economy in which corruption would be countered by a robust legal system and a competent workforce. The private sector would, he said, play a key role in driving development and creating jobs. To this end the interim government had targeted small and medium-sized enterprises with LD 650 million up support and made over LD 1 billion available for training and education. [/restrict]