Libya's Macroeconomic Statistics

Libya's economy depends mainly upon revenue from its gas and oil sector, which contributes 95% of the country's export revenue, one quarter of its GDP, and sixty percent of the public sector's wages. In 2009, the weak hydrocarbon market reduced Libya's taxable income and kept its economy from growing.

Earnings from Libya's energy sector, combined with a small population, gives the country one of the highest per-capita GDPs in Africa. However, little of this largess trickles down to the lower rungs of society. Libyan authorities have made certain economic reforms in order to reintegrate the country back into the international community. Efforts to do so picked up after the UN lifted its sanctions on Libya back in 2003, after the country pledged to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

The Libyan hydrocarbon market continues to attract foreign investors, the state-owned gas and oil company set a goal to double its production to 3 million barrels per day by 2012. Libya faces a long struggle in modernizing its socialist economy, but certain steps, such as applying for WTO membership and announcing privatization plans are a good start.

The non-gas and oil construction and manufacturing sectors account for more than a fifth of Libya's GDP, and they have expanded from the processing of mostly farm-related products to include the production and processing of steel, aluminum, iron and petroleum products. The harsh Libyan climate limits its agricultural output, making it necessary for the country to import almost three-quarters of its food. Libya's main source of water for agricultural and fishery needs is the Great Manmade River Project, but the government continues to invest time and resources into desalination.

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