April 25, 2005


Libya stepping into open market economy (SADEK TARHONI, 4/25/05, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL)

Libya is moving slowly but surely into an open-market economy after decades of socialist-style policies.

Products from all over the world have become largely available as billboards for Western goods now fill the streets of the capital, Tripoli, and other large Libyan cities. Shopping outlets, previously called cooperatives, are now known as supermarkets and posters promote previously unseen brand names such as "White Westinghouse," "Nokia," and "Carrier."

The changes began two years ago after Libya said it would pursue "popular capitalism." The policy was boosted by Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem, a staunch advocate of an open economy.

Economic experts say the aim of the new policies is to ensure economic stability and create new sources of income for a country that is heavily dependent on oil. Free-trade zones are being created, foreign investment encouraged, and service and tourism boosted.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2005 11:04 PM

Now all they need are free-trade agreements with the U.S., Israel, China and/or India.

Posted by: Rip Van Winkle at April 25, 2005 11:57 PM

With oil at $50 a barrel, why would they need anything?

Would be interesting to follow up on this story to see who is really doing the work in these free-trade zones.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at April 26, 2005 1:51 AM