The Financial Times reports that an explosion of small shops and businesses in Libya has been accompanied by a jump in construction across the country, even in some of its poorest and most neglected areas -- "It is fuelled by increased public sector salaries and 40 years of pent-up demand for western brands and accoutrements."
Libyan consumers are savouring a flood of new products, services and brands and are buying, building and travelling like rarely before.
New restaurants, especially those set up by Turkish or Syrian entrepreneurs, have flourished even in remote cities, where going out for “Turkish” food has become a staple of nightlife.
Nevertheless, a western diplomat in Tripoli commented:
“There’s an awful lot of Gaddafi laws on the books ... We’re still getting a flood of businesspeople and governments having a hard time getting paid for their work.”
And a Canadian-Libyan restaurant owner said:
“There’s no punishment for not showing up to work here ... They’re used to getting salaries for doing nothing. When you need technical or design work you need foreigners to execute it. If I need cooks or labourers, I bring them from certain countries.”
(Photo credit: Marcopolis)