Tripoli, 4 February 2013:
Part of Libya’s drive to attract foreign investors includes the creation of ‘Invest In Libya’ one-stop shops with . . .[restrict]the local powers to sort out new projects and speed their way through a cumbersome bureaucracy.
Misrata has become the second city, after Tripoli to establish such an office to fast track overseas investments.
Louai Ben Sasi, the local director of the General Authority for Investment Promotion and Privatisation Affairs (Central Region), told Libya Herald said that the decentralisation of powers represented by the new dispensation was going to make a big difference.
“The Misrata office of the GAIPPA was set up in 2008. But we had nothing to give foreign investors. We worked as a post office. We just wrote out forms and sent them to Tripoli and waited. Now we can make the decisions. We can give licences. We can give letters for tax and customs arrangements. We can do everything.”
While admitting that promoting foreign investment in the current security climate was a hard sell, Ben Sasi said that there were three projects in the pipeline.
“Corinthia Hotels from Malta are working on a beach resort called ‘The Waterfront’, on land that has been allocated by Misrata. Saudi investors are looking at building a shopping mall and a Turkish concern wants to build a factory near the LISCO iron and steel works, to use some of its output in manufacturing.”
Ben Sasi added that though the degree of assistance that could be extended was slightly different, his office was also empowered to work with local Libyan investors.
Economy Minister Mustafa Mohammed Abufunas was on hand for the ceremony launching the Misrata One-Stop Shop. Tomorrow, Tuesday, Benghazi will be opening one of its own. A fourth window for investors is planned for Sebha, where, says Ben Sasi, there is a clear need for job-creating projects. However for the moment foreign investors interested in the city are being guided by the Tripoli One-Stop Shop. [/restrict]