Are you and your business ready to return to Libya?
So asketh the website of a British venture, Trango Special Projects, according to a New York Times article published this past weekend. The piece provides a snapshot of the avaricious intentions of the West for the newly-liberated Libya. The anticipation of profits and priority access for the Transitional National Council's NATO backers is described in a surprisingly frank fashion, especially for an article that was accessible from the website's front page:
Western security, construction and infrastructure companies that see profit-making opportunities receding in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned their sights on Libya, now free of four decades of dictatorship. Entrepreneurs are abuzz about the business potential of a country with huge needs and the oil to pay for them, plus the competitive advantage of Libyan gratitude toward the United States and its NATO partners.
The article is replete with gems from rapacious businessmen and other profiteers so mesmerized by the sparkle of opportunity in Libya that they speak without hesitation about the wonders before them. “There is a gold rush of sorts taking place right now,” said to David Hamod, the president and chief executive officer of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce, describing the scramble by European, Asian, and US companies to stake their claims in the new Libya.
“Oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources,” as US Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz has said, but there are plenty of other ways for Western companies to make a buck in this emerging market. “Foreign businesses will swarm Libya in the hunt for new opportunity, especially in the areas of construction, infrastructure, public/healthcare related services, logistics and even IT,” according to a post on the website of the Security Contracting Network, a company referred to in the article. Add in the combination of unemployed men and a vast amount of arms, and security, as the NYT piece points out, will be a booming industry in Libya as well.
If you have any friends in doubt about US economic interests in Libya, be sure to send them this article.