North Africa - LIBYA



Country Profile:

A former Roman colony, Libya gained its independence from Italy in 1951. Oil was discovered in 1959. This transformed the country into a wealthy monarchy. However, in 1969 the king was deposed by a coup led by Muammar Gadaffi who remains the country’s leader and is now the Arab world’s longest leader. Libya’s socialist-oriented economy depends almost exclusively on revenues from the oil sector. This contributes practically all export earnings, over 50% of GDP and over 60% of public sector wages. Libya is a member of OPEC and has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. Diversification of the economy into other manufacturing sectors remains a long term issue.

Main Trade Partners:

France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Tunisia, China USA, S.Korea, Turkey

Main Industries:

Oil & Gas, Iron & Steel, Food Processing, Textiles, Cement


6,173,579 (July 2008 CIA World Factbook est.)


1,759,540 sq. km.


74.6 bn. (2007 IMF est.)

GDP Real Growth Rate:

6.8% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

GDP per Capita:

$12,277 (2007 IMF est.)

GDP per Sector:

Services 14.9%, Industry 83.1%, Agriculture 2.1% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

Stock Market Capitalisation:


Exchange Rate:

1 Libyan Dinar = 0.804 US$ (September 2008)
1 US $ = 1.243 Libyan Dinars

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