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Libya - Al-Baghdadi 'Ali Al-Mahmoudi.

The Secretary-General (PM) since March 2006, Dr. Mahmoudi was in March 2006 promoted to the top job to succeed Dr. Shukri Ghanem (who became chairman of NOC see his profile in omt4LibWhoJul27-09). Until then Mahmoudi used to be Ghanem's deputy. The secretary-general acts as co-ordinator among the secretaries and between the cabinet and the political leadership.

In his 50s, Dr. Mahmoudi is a technocrat. He heads the High Council for Oil & Gas which was established in September 2006 to help speed up decision making in the petroleum sector. But in reality it is a counter-weight to Dr. Ghanem's Governing Council of NOC and, as Mahmoudi is part of the conservative camp, often acts as an obstacle to Ghanem's reformist tendencies.

Mahmoudi chairs the 11-member board of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), set up in early 2007 as a holding SWF with a mandate to manage and restructure state enterprises, such as the Fund for Africa and the Economic and Social Development Fund. The board's deputy chairman is Abdul-Hafith Zlitni, a leading technocrat who heads the powerful General Planning Council. Board members include Central Bank Gov Bin-Gidara. LIA's CEO is Muhammad al-Layas who previously chaired the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank (LAFB).

The National Economic Strategy (NES) is a set of economic reforms fully backed by Saif and worked out after two years of debate by the US Monitor Group of experts. Applying authority granted by his father, Co. Qadhafi, Saif has got Dr. Hammoudi to embrace the NES measures announced on Feb. 22, 2007, along with the launch of the Libyan Economic Development Board (LEDB) whose CEO is Mahmoud Jebril. A law upholding the NES and establishing the LEDB offers local entrepreneurs many of the same incentives as foreign investors. Local businesses are eligible for a five-year exemption from import duties, corporate income tax and stamp duty (see down4LibWhoJul23-07).

Visiting Moscow in on July 31, 2008, Mahmoudi and Russian PM Vladimir Putin discussed a number of petroleum JV proposals to boost co-operation in this field. He then said: "The oil and gas sector represents a very promising field for the development of Russia-Libya co-operation and NOC enjoyed a "special relationship" with Gazprom. Putin said Russia and Libya could fruitfully co-operate in the petroleum sector not only in Libya, but also in third countries. Mahmoudi said Libya was opening a LIA office in Moscow in an effort to boost mutual investments, and Putin promised to ensure a favourable regime for the Libyan investments. They discussed Libya's plans to buy more Russian arms and build a nuclear power plant.

Under a deal first negotiated in April 2008, then President Putin visited Libya and signed a deal with Qadhafi to work on a far-reaching bilateral pact to cover the possibility of Russia buying all of Libya's oil and gas exports, Moscow strengthening Libya's armed forces, and the two states investing heavily in joint petroleum E&P ventures in Africa.

A few days earlier, Mahmoudi visited Kiev and met with PM Yulia Tymoshenko. They discussed a proposed JV to have an oil refinery built in Ukraine. They also discussed co-operation in other energy fields, aircraft building and agriculture.

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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Jul 27, 2009
Previous Article:Libya - Government & Qadhafi Family Interests.
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