My Response To Michael Porter's Report
Dear Professor Michael Porter:
I read your report on how to integrate Libya into the global economy. I commend you for the report given the limited data, facts, as well as a lack of information and transparency. However, many Libyan investment professionals, economists and market practitioners are aware that your report does not address many problematic and pressing issues that concern the Nation. Let me mention a few elements that you may have overlooked: the country lacks economic growth other than the oil sector; also, equal or relative distribution of wealth does not exist. It is far from a reality. Most Libyans are living under poverty conditions including professionals – teachers, medical doctors, civil servants, university professors and so on. The standard of living and the quality of life has deteriorated drastically for most population. They often do not receive salaries or income for several months. In some cases it may be five to nine months, while the cost of living and consumer goods continues to exceed their income.
The Libyans in Diaspora send money to supplement their families and bring relief to their loved ones. Recently, our family had to pitch in and finance an immediate family member’s medical treatment. The country is suffering from lack of economic development, high unemployment among the youth as well as college graduates, short on investment allocation of resources and the fundamental right to provide a goods and services and to prepare the youth with proper education for the future.
As you indicated in your report, the country enjoys enormous economic and investment wealth, but unfortunately, its citizens are deprived and denied their share of this wealth. Consequently, Libya is suffering from human capital flight due to the lack opportunities and confidence to build a strong and healthy nation.
A comparison should be made with other countries in the region such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, and UAE in regard to social and economic development, education, health care, and a sound and open investment climate. It should show that this Qaddafi regime, with 37 years in power, has done very little but create misery, deprivation, lack of accountability, improper and erratic education and political instability, resulting in a chaotic social economic system.
Libya needs to restore its legitimate constitution of 1951 and do away with this despotic regime of Qaddafi. This is primary goal and inspiration of every Libyan national.
Mahdi Abdallah Abed Al-Senussi