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Area: 1,759,540 sq. km

Population: 6,252,000 (2014, est.)

Capital: Tripoli

GDP: USD 41.1bn (2014, est.)

Exports: USD 17.49bn (2014, est.)

Imports: USD 16.08bn (2014, est.)

Currency: Libyan Dinar (LYD)

Exchange rate: 1 USD = 1.7437 LYD (01/2016)


Economic situation and development:

In recent decades, the countries economy has been shaped on the one hand by the political decisions of the al-Qaddhafi regime and on the other by the global demand for oil. Recently, the calls for diversification have grown louder, in order to reduce the dependency of the economy on oil. The development of trade relations play especially important role in the coming years, while decentralization and denationalization are also necessary in order to let the private sector develop. Given that almost half of the population is under 25 years of age, building and efficient education system is also an important priority to ensure that the young Libyan population can extract as much wealth as possible from the resource-rich land. Last but not least, combating unemployment lies at the heart of improving the economic situation. Having fought in the revolution, the members of the militias are now faced with the challenge of integration into the job market.

Libya has experienced remarkable economic growth in the last decade, which was only undermined by the global financial economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. A strong oil-driven economic recovery in 2012 stalled in 2013 as a consequence of severe disruptions in the oil-sector and because of private (non-oil) activity continued to be muffled by the uncertain situation on the ground. Following the 2011 political turmoil, which saw the economy contract by more than 60%, 2012 saw a doubling of real GDP to USD 81.9bn SY production almost returned to pre-war levels (1.6m barrels/day). However, estimates for 2013 assume a decrease in GDP to USD is 70.9bn. The government had increase spending on wages, subsidies and transfers to households, leading to a consumption boom. Investment spending, on the other hand, remained stalled due to budget delays, administrative bottlenecks and disagreements over how to proceed with an immense portfolio of projects signed under al-Qaddhafi. Repeated strikes and blockades by militias at oil facilities led to severe descriptions in order production starting in July 2013, resulting in a drop in oil exports and associated government revenues.

As already mentioned, two beers one of the most resource-rich countries globally and has about 46.5bn barrels of proof and crude oil reserves. Oil production, which was heavily undermined by the events of 2011, rose to approximately 800,000 bpd by the end of 2011; the pre-war level with about 1.6m bpd had been reached by the end of 2012. In addition to its crude oil reserves, Libya has a remarkable potential for renewable energy that has not been exploited yet. For solar energy and photovoltaic solutions, Libya’s incident solar radiation level is about 7.5 kWh/sq m per day, ended sunshine duration averages 3,000 to 3,500 hours per annum. The country also has favourable conditions for the utilization of wind energy, with an average of 7.5 m/s at a height of 40 meters.

The government’s priorities as announced in the 2013 strategy and budget includes restoring national-security, reconciliation, disbanding armed militias, promoting economic recovery, decentralisation and improving basic services at the local level. Tackling corruption and promoting transparency are also on the governments agenda. The prime minister is credited with having taken clear action to strengthen security with the formation of an integrated national army and the successful and peaceful second anniversary of the revolution in February 2013.

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