By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 15 December 2013:
The GNC reports that its Economy, Trade and Industry Committee met on Wednesday 11th December . . .[restrict]with a number of experts in commercial law in Libya.
The meeting reviewed a bill presented by the Ministry of Economy on the adoption of the Trade Companies’ law which would enable Libyan citizens to set up companies easily and quickly, and abolish laws imposed by the former regime, and to “enable the youth to engage in trade activities and private sector to contribute in the economic development of Libya”, the GNC reported.
It will be recalled that the Economy Minister Mustafa Abufunas, speaking at a conference in Tripoli on the Shadow Economy last week, revealed that the bill to reform the trade laws had been presented by his Ministry to the GNC. However he had said that due to the “current general situation” in Libya, the GNC had been delayed in passing the reformed laws.
It is worth mentioning that the Economy Minister has been coming in for repeated criticism by the business community for the late reform of the business laws.
At the conference last week, Abufunas had given examples of how the reformed law would help in the business sector. He had mentioned, for example, that if a Libyan or a Libyan company wanted to practice in more than one business activity, they would have to under the current laws form a different company, or a number of companies.
The Minister said that he hoped that this would be changed allowing business people to form companies that can operate in numerous sectors. The Qaddafi era laws also prohibit the naming of a company using the owner’s name. This should be changed, promised the Minister.
This applied to both the shareholding and limited liability companies, the Minister explained, which he said should end the practice of the real owners of companies having to list fake partners to satisfy the old laws.
In conclusion, the Minister had assured his audience that the government was convinced that wholesale reform of the economic framework was necessary. He confirmed that his Ministry was working on this through the Ministry of Planning especially with regards to the relationship between the private sector and the state sector.
The Minister assured that he saw a reduced role for the state limited more to an oversight role in economic activity.
It will be interesting to see when a copy of the draft laws becomes public how much of the draft bill presented to the GNC by the government will make it through to the final law and how deep the reforms of the previous Qaddafi era laws are carried out. [/restrict]