Alex Warren of Frontier MEA a business and investment research firm helping local and international clients to navigate the developing markets of the Middle East and Africa.
John Hamilton of Cross Border Information established in 1989 as an editorial house producing high quality reports for publishers including Middle East Economic Digest, as well as several Financial Times business periodicals.
Robin Lamb of the Libyan British Business Council established in 2004 to promote business relations and commercial activity between the British and Libyan business communities.
Ralph H. Dando of QPML Limited which has implemented numerous projects in Libya.
The briefing was held under the Chatham House rule which allows the information received to be used without attribution to the individual speakers who agreed that no one can forecast with any exactness what will happen in Libya.
The discussion began with an analysis of Libya's political environment and the challenges faced by foreign businesses.
Libya is at the beginning of the transition and the hard work is still ahead. In a broad sense Libya is peaceful but the situation is still very edgy. Most of the major incidents, be they hijackings or kidnappings tend to be resolved through mediation.
There is still plenty of low level lawlessness and no confidence can be placed as yet in the new embryonic army and national police. Arms have not been brought under central control and there are major problems on the borders.
Libya can been seen as an archipelago but it is not water but sand, desert and gravel which surrounds the various settlements. It is a huge job for any emerging authority to stay on top of security challenges. The oil and gas protection force has been successful and this is a sign of what the new government will be able to do in future.
The elections were well conducted and now the jockeying for positions in the formation of a government starts. It is not yet clear whether there will be a government of national unity or one facing opposition and continual challenges to its authority. There is a tradition in Islam of reaching a common view. What will emerge as a constitution is also unclear.