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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Freedom of establishment in Libya is recent: Libya's political and economic system, socialist and centralized as it is, has prevented it for decades from opening up to foreign investment (with the exception of petroleum partnerships). To this must be added the international embargo which aggravated Libya's isolation considerably.

Since 2003, the lifting of international sanctions coupled with the new policy of encouraging foreign investment has improved the country's attractiveness. In addition, imports are no longer a State monopoly. Law n°5 creates a bureau to encourage foreign investment which authorizes each investment project by granting a five-year operating license, which can be extended for 3 years.

This law allows partnerships between Libyans and foreigners (with no limit on foreign holdings, except those concluded with State companies and the banking sector). Finally, foreign investment projects are freed from the main legal obligations that govern the activity of Libyan companies.

The fields of activity authorized for foreign subsidiaries are specified in decree n°13 of  January 9, 2005.  These are: building and public works, electricity (except production), hydrocarbons (except extraction; the petroleum sector is regulated by the petroleum law n°25 of 1955, amended several times, especially in 1983), industry, topography, environment, information technology, engineering & technical studies and health. Moreover, the financial sector, telecommunications, wholesale and retail sales are reserved domains. Foreigners have also been able to buy landed property.

Acquisition of Holdings
 In the authorized sectors (industry, health, tourism, services and agriculture), a majority holding in the capital of a local company is possible.
Obligation to Declare
 Before being able to set up in Libya, certain documents must be presented to the Libyan Foreign Investment Board , which authorizes investment projects for a period of 5 years (within the framework of an operating license). This authorization can be extended for 3 years.
The documents to be submitted are:
- 1 application form that includes the name of the applicant, the nationality, the legal status and headquarters, the description of the project, the investment sector, the schedule of payments, the nature and amount of capital,
- 1 feasibility study,
- 1 certificate of nationality,
- the extract of the company register in the country of origin, 1 copy of the balance sheet and a certificate of non-bankruptcy.

To learn more about how to open a business in Libya, you can read the report of the World Bank.

Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Lybian Privatization and Investment Board
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Apart from the domain of petroleum and associated products which comes under Law n°25 of 1955, and the tourism sector which comes under Law n°7 of 6 March 2004 and Decree n°139 of 26 August 2004, the sectors open to foreign investment include health, industry, services, tourism, agriculture or any other sector defined by a decision of the General People's Committee. Foreign investment is supported by Law n°5 amended by Law n°7 of 2003 and the decrees of application covering the fields of transfer of technology, training of Libyan technicians, diversifying of sources of revenue, participation in the development of local production in such a way as to allow it access to world markets, and realization of regional development.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Libyan Investment Board
Bank of Commerce and Development
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Libya
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Libya
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Libya Investment

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Actualitzacions: May 2024

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