By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 21 December 2013:
Speaking at the opening of the “First Scientific Conference for Non-oil Exports” today . . .[restrict]at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, Industry Minister Sulieman Latief Al-Fituri said that the industrial sector must play an important role in the diversification of Libya’s economy by bringing added value.
The conference was organised by the Libyan Export Promotion Centre (www.lepc.org.ly) and sponsored by the Ministry of Economy. Twenty-one varied papers on the diversification of Libya’s economy were to be presented over the two days.
Fituri added that the “industrial sector has an opportunity to bring added value to the economy” and that “this sector was counted on to help bring economic diversification in Libya”.
Fituri reminisced on the old days under the monarchy of King Idris in Libyan when 70 percent of oil revenue had to be spent on development whereas now he lamented how it was the other way round.
“Libya needs to be exporting finished goods”, the Industry Minister stressed, “and not raw materials. The export of raw materials is the export of opportunities, jobs and added value”, he explained.
The Minister also admitted that Libya’s diversification development also needs to occur in the human resource sector as well as a cultural change, without adding any more detail. He also said that the private sector would be the main driver of development and that added value should be the main focus of development in the diversification drive of the economy.
Finally, the Industry Minister said that he saw a major role for the banking sector, Libyan and foreign, in this developmental drive.