Anyone working in Libya? Quick overview of conditions, please?

Discussion in 'Living Overseas' started by 4(T), Nov 4, 2010.

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  1. Just been pointed towards a job in Libya. Its away from my normal patch, so I have no local knowledge - although I'm an experienced expat fairly used to the worst type of working conditions. Thus I'm just trying to assess how the job description and package are likely to stack up in view of the working environment.

    I know Libya is opening up and at least old Ghadaffi is supposed to be trying to encourage foreign investment, etc. Wondered if this had filtered through into a business-friendly regime. Would be very grateful for a thumbnail sketch of the living & working conditions, e.g:

    1. visa/ immigration/ work permit regime - straightforward or obstructive?

    2. dealing with government administration - ditto?

    3. labour reasonably willing/talented, or products of socialist system?

    etc, etc.

  2. If you are used to the worst type of working conditions and go there with that background, it's just possible you will be pleasantly surprised. I was posted there in the early 1960s under the old king (Idris) and we were not impressed.

    The only things then worth seeing were the Roman and WWII ruins and what I presume was the national museum in the fortress downtown.
  3. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Compared to most African and Middle Eastern Countries Libya is pretty good, I was there when Gadaffi took over in 1969 and did some work there in the late 80s and had no real problems but as I went there from Angola it was ruddy wonderful by comparison
  4. I deal with a family that has very substantial business interests there, but I have not worked there myself. From what I hear, and all of that is public knowledge, a lot depends on your nationality, your employer, the current issues that Libya has with HM government and how vital the involvement of your business (e.g. oil) and your personal role is to Libya.

    1. visa/ immigration/ work permit regime - straightforward or obstructive? Diffcult to navigate to obstructive (see above)

    2. dealing with government administration - ditto? Must have a local fixer that knows his way around, or you will do nothing but that, expect this to be done by your employer

    3. labour reasonably willing/talented, or products of socialist system? Strongly depends on the industry, by and large they are dependent on expats to run things for them. They are too proud to admit and worried about loosing face, so it's always careful treading not to upset the locals that are connected to the loon's family.

    I would consider it a high risk country because of its unpredictability politically and the fact that if that country wants to use you as a bargain chip to settle disputes with the UK, they will not hesitate to do so.
  5. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    Sort of depends on the support from your employer.

    We have a moderately large team in Libya at the moment and all the document, movement, accom stuff is dealt with by the company and our local fixers. They get some local issues when on R&R and sometimes the system screws up but in general I believe the process isn't too bad.

  6. I don't share your viewpoint. However volitile you perceive the 'big fella' to be, his sons are a controlling influence. Despite, Maggie's protestations during the early '80's of not dealing with 'terrorists', the sons were allowed both to trade and purchase some expensive piles of brickwork in London which they still own.

    Prince Andrew's official visit earlier in the year representing a trade delegation, discussing the potential for hotels and a leisure industry augurs well. There's a herd of London based property developers who have had their eye on Libya, Cuba and other such areas for more than a few years now. From my standpoint, it's the place to be.
  7. My point is that there is no certainty with Libya, its unpredictable. There are plenty examples in which European corporate executives, nurses etc. Were arrested under bogus charges and used as bargain chips to settle scores with their home countries, extact money or people, as recent as 2010. Not saying this is going to happen, just making a point that you cannot exclude anything when dealing with the loon in his bandleader outfit.

  8. Be a bit noisy at night at the moment, wouldn't it?
  9. Quality, pure quality, I hope you didn't invest.
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