Country Report Libya November 2009

Economic policy: The government announces plans for energy cities

In mid-October, the Libyan government announced plans to build two huge "energy cities", designed to completely restructure the country's existing oil and gas facilities at Ras Lanuf and Marsa al-Brega. According to MEED, a regional business magazine, the scheme will cost some US$54bn, providing a central focus for foreign investment into the country. In addition to the major hydrocarbons facilities, the project includes the construction of a large town, as well as a nearby luxury tourist resort. Libya's Economic Development Board is in the process of drawing up tax and other incentives to attract investors to the scheme, which has been touted as having more opportunities than the free zones that already exist in the country. Crucially, the project will also create up to 32,000 jobs. In early October Libya's Planning Council issued a report urging the government to take more active steps to provide employment for the country's rapidly rising population.

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