International sanctions against Libya have been lifted, the US has struck the country off the terrorist list and has again opened diplomatic relations, and Libya is now more than ever brimming with development, which has turned it into an investor’s sanctuary.

This was the sentiment at an international conference entitled “Succeeding in Libya – strategies for new business opportunities 2006′ organised in Malta at the Corinthia San Gorgl, St Julians by EMCS, an international business advisory which operates through Malta and caters for a wide array of clients in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The event, held in conjunction with Fimbank plc, the niche trade finance bank with offices in Malta, UK, US, Brazil, Turkey and Russia, brought together a host of high profile speakers from Libya and a good number of business representatives from a number of countries.

Delegates were provided with an update on recent developments in Libya and also made use of tangible opportunities for networking and for potential business ventures in Libya.

The event also highlighted particular sectors of Libya’s ongoing development where business interest could be more specific, namely foreign investment, tourism, commerce and industry banking, general planning and real estate, iron and steel production and the laws involved.

Some of the main speakers formed a panel for general discussion and questions and were joined by Libyan nationals Mohammed Izzidin Bek Derna, secretary general and chief executive of the Maltese Arab Chamber of Commerce Industry & Agriculture and Mohammed El Busefi, councillor of the Libyan Maltese Chamber of Commerce.

Subjects tackled included: Emerging Libya in the global economy; Cooperation and participation opportunities in Libyan basic infrastructure projects; Overview of the financial sector in Libya; The National Council for Real Estate Investments; The emerging tourism sector in Libya; Prospects of business opportunities in Libya, with reference to the financial services industry; Strategies, present climate and opportunities; Legal aspects of succeeding in a changing Libya; The steel industry; Doing business through conferences and exhibitions; The management of correspondent banking; Financial perspectives for doing business in Libya; The legal framework of direct foreign investment in Libya.

As EMCS chairman, John Grech stated when opening the conference, the exercise should open a host of opportunities for those ready to grab them and he urged participants not to let this opportunity go by. Grech also said that this was the second conference that EMCS was organising on Libya after a successful one in March last year.

The EMCS chairman also spoke of his company’s activity in assisting the consolidation of relations between Malta and Libya and how with the assistance of his partner Adrian Said and the Libyan ambassador to Malta, Saad El Shlmani, together with a core of supporting corporate leaders, succeeded to establish and launch the Malta/Libya Friendship Society which was to be introduced to the conference by its president George Cassar.

Official sponsors included Bawag PSK; Ecomod; VAOS; Air Malta; Bank of Valletta; Corinthis Group; Maltese-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture; Malta/Libya Friendship Society; and Casapinta Design Group.  Media partners included GTR; Africa Monitor and The Malta Business Weekly.