Gaddafi’s downfall is bringing some unusual changes. Many British companies are now setting their sights on relaunching their businesses in Libya. Major streets in Baghdad and Kabul are fast becoming stomping grounds for western capitalism, as major US and European retailers want in on the action.
Some are still approaching the prospects in Libya tentatively, waiting to see what happens with the fall-out from the Gaddafi downfall. John Gallacher, for instance, Weir’s North Africa operations director says that he has consulted with the Foreign Office which has indicated that it’s still too dangerous to go into Libya and to start doing business again.
Getting in the Act as Conditions Allow
BP also stated that it will go back to its Libyan operations “when conditions allow.” The UK coordinator of the NTC, Guma el-Gamaty, says that his organization has been in contact with major companies with existing Libyan contracts. He said that, “Obviously, as soon as the security situation is sorted, all companies involved in Libya can come back as well as new companies. Initially, energy and construction will take priority, along with services such as water and healthcare, which are absolutely vital to the people. There will be major opportunities in [developing new] infrastructure.”
Potential businesses should not get too excited yet. Those in the know warn that Libya has a long way to go to stabilize, and that investors would do well to wait and see how things play out before launching into any financial plans in the region.