U.S Companies Eye Libya Business Opportunities

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More U S Companies are joining trade delegations to Tripoli as prospects and opportunities brighten.

Officials at Phoenicia Group (http://www.phoenicia-group.net), a leading U.S-Libyan risk management consultancy and advisory firm, say U.S-Libya trade and business confidence has reached an all time high, as U.S companies show significant interest in learning about doing business in Libya, and as more U.S businesses opted to join targeted high profile trade delegations visiting Libya this year.

Chris Davies, CEO of Phoenicia Group’s Event Management Unit, which organizes high profile government-led trade events in Libya, says U.S businesses are more aware of Libya’s market potential and are taking advantage of closer ties to enhance a competitive position in the market and initiate market entry strategies.

‘Compared to just a year ago, we have seen huge increases in inquiries from U.S companies wishing to do business in Libya, with a 200% increase in registrations for our U.S-Libya Trade Delegations.’

Surprisingly, while the Oil & Gas sector remains the main focus for U.S companies, a lot of interest is coming from the non-Oil sector -- in fields as diverse as tourism, telecommunications, finance, construction, agribusiness, and defense & aerospace.

The U.S-Libya Trade Delegation 2006, titled ‘Partners for Progress’, and organized by Phoenicia Group’s Event Management Unit in association with the Tripoli-based Libyan American Business Council, was launched earlier this year to promote U.S-Libyan business ties, and has proven to be an enormous success, with two fully booked delegations making the trip to Tripoli and meeting with members of the Libyan business community and representatives of key Libyan government agencies.

Endorsed by the Libyan General Chambers of Commerce, the high profile business delegations received widespread coverage from Libyan TV and state newspapers and trade journals when they visited in March and May this year, and included representatives from US companies such as Fluor, Raytheon, Motorola, Citibank, Agoco, and several small and medium sized businesses.

Two more U.S-Libya Delegations will be taking off in August and November, and are geared not only for major U.S corporations but also smaller sized businesses and entrepreneurs.

Ryad Sunusi, President & CEO of Phoenicia Group and a leading Libyan consultant and analyst, says the booming business between the two countries are an extension of the strategic partnership being built between the two countries as a result of shared interests.

He is quick to caution U.S companies on the need for due diligence when looking to trade or invest in Libya.

‘US investors and traders eying Libya need a reliable and established partner -- who can provide the assistance, contacts, and legal support services and guide them through all aspects of doing business in Libya.’ he says.

When asked about the most promising sectors for U.S companies, Mr.Sunusi replied, ‘Libya has great FDI potential -- Libya’s infrastructure is in need of repair, and is a large country with many needs.’

‘Outside the Oil and Gas sector, infrastructure is high priority -- hospitals, housing, schools, sanitation services, water and power supplies, as well as construction of new ports, airports, rail system, roads, and other essential services.’

‘Outstanding prospects exist for U.S exporters in advanced oil field technology & services, medical equipments and hospital supplies, aviation, electric power generations, transmission systems, computers & software services, security & safety equipments, telecommunications, water resource equipments, farm machinery, agricultural commodities such as wheat & corn.’

Libya’s Free Trade Zones, modeled on Dubai’s model, and the economic advantages it offers U.S manufacturers looking for an export hub to Europe, Africa, and the Caspian Region, was a point Libya is keen to promote, he said.

‘Libya can serve as an ideal transit zone for companies seeking to export to Europe, Africa, and Caspian countries through its Free Trade Zone in Misratah.’

Libya’s massive tourism potential -- Libya seeks U.S partners and investors in developing tourism infrastructure to sustain an estimated 10,000,000 visitors a year by 2015 -- was another key theme.

‘Tourism has the most untapped potential -- Libya has over 1,700 km coastline of unspoiled beaches, preserved historical ruins, desert oases, Libya has the perfect ingredients for the sun, sea, sand -- and history vacation spot.’ Mr.Sunusi noted.

‘Great opportunities exist for tourism projects, hotel construction and equity partnership, construction of tourism complexes, and this is a sector which will witness a boom in the coming years.’

The recent announcement of the establishment of the Libyan Stock Exchange and the establishment of a liberal and transparent investment and legal framework are seen by analysts as a real desire by the Libyan government to attract international investment and build business confidence.

The further normalization of relations and the dropping of Libya from the US State Department’s list as a designated state sponsor of terrorism are regarded by many as clear signs of a new golden age between Libya and the United States.

About Phoenicia Group Libya, LLC

Phoenicia Group, a US-Libyan professional business services company, establishes and advises on interoperability issues in the Libyan Market with technology, and devises, researches and implements market entry and risk management strategies for U.S companies wishing to establish a foothold for commerce in Libya. For investor information or company information, contact Alan Hines at +1 415 992 8174.

Media Contact:

Jeff Hallinger - 302-353-4560

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Damian White