By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 9 February 2013:
The American Chamber of Commerce Libya (AmCham) held its inaugural networking breakfast meeting at the US embassy in Tripoli on Thursday 31st January.
The meeting, organized by Richard Griffiths, President of AmCham Libya, gathered representatives of 18 US companies in Libya to discuss doing business in Libya.
The meeting was attended by US Charge d’Affairs William Roebuck, Nate Mason US Commercial Attaché, Richard Griffiths President of AmCham Libya, the president of the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce Khalil Mahfoud, the head of the newly formed Libyan Women’s Business Council Ibtisam Benamer.
The meeting also included US companies in Libya and or their representatives, including: Christopher Cole Shoemaker (CEVA), Hunter Keith, (DAI), Danel Wenner (Halliburton), Andrew Griminger (Management Systems International), Greg Cunningham (FARMCO), Robert O’Hanlon (Deloitte & Touche (M.E.), Hussam Al-Ghazaly (Al Ghazaly Group & Textron), John Brooke and Adela Suliman (Clyde and Co), Louise Gatt (FCM Travel Solutions), Yousef Serrag (Interconex), Fauzia Alfaki (Excelsior), Hussam Imam (Bell/Cessna/Textron/Iomax), Saleh Aboukamil (Ernst & Young), Brigitte Sheffer (Bloomberg), (MERRICK USA) and Sami Zaptia of Tapark Oilfield Supply Company (Parker Hannifin Instrumentation).
US Charge d’Affairs William Roebuck in his opening remarks said that “there are lots of challenges to doing business in Libya as a US company, but I am encouraged to see you all here doing the hard work.”
Nate Mason, US Commercial Attaché for his part, welcomed the gathered and confirmed that the US was working with its Libyan counterparts to improve trade relations and implement previously signed trade agreements.
Richard Griffiths President of AmCham Libya said that “the support that AmCham Libya has received from Washington, the US embassy and the founding members of AmCham Libya has been unprecedented. It is a testimony to what we can do here in Libya. American companies are committed to working in Libya in an ethical and professional way. And we will be working with the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce as our counterpart here in Libya.”
Mahfoud Khalil, head of the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce hoped “that commercial cooperation continues and grows with US companies. I would like to thank the US for its help to Libya when it needed it and I would like to repeat my condolences for the death of ambassador Chris Stevens”.
Ibtisam Benamer,member of the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce board and head of the Libyan Women’s Business Council said that she hoped “more women do business with US companies. I know all Libyans are waiting for the big US companies to come to Libya”.
There then followed a lively discussion regarding doing business in the Libyan market and the various company representatives shared their views, experiences and outlooks on the Libyan market.