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April 30, 2008

E&Y expands footprint into Libya

E&Y expands footprint into Libya

Ernst & Young (E&Y) has opened its first office in Libya. The new Tripoli office will provide a foundation for the global network to establish a foothold in the recently opened and rapidly expanding Libyan economy.

The Libyan practice is part of E&Y’s Middle East regional practice, which is grouped in the Northern European, Middle East, Indian and African (NEMIA) area of the firm. It is staffed by 25 local and expatriate professionals with significant country and industry expertise. E&Y said it aims to double its Libyan work force by the end of 2008 and would actively recruit and train local talent as part of a nationalisation initiative.

The Tripoli office will offer core clients services in tax, assurance, risk services and business advisory solutions. E&Y chairman in the Middle East Ahmed Al-Aiban said: “We are committed to anticipating and serving our clients’ needs wherever they are and Libya is a new promising growth market in the region. We are delighted that in establishing the Tripoli office we are the first of the Big Four to have a full member firm operating in Libya under our global brand.”

The Libyan economy is growing quickly, as is investment in a number of sectors including oil and gas, manufacturing, and the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel and aluminium. There is also a growing tourism sector. E&Y said the privatisation of government-owned enterprises is progressing and the Libyan government has created a healthy environment for private businesses to operate in.

“While we will be addressing the needs of our global clients who have strengthened their presence in Libya, our local expertise will enable us to provide our services to local Libyan companies,” remarked E&Y NEMIA managing partner Mark Otty.

Fouad Alaeddin, managing partner of E&Y in the Middle East, said the firm is well positioned to grow with the economy.

“Through our global and local knowledge, we hope to act as catalysts, instigating positive change in the local business landscape. We are already recruiting from within Libya itself and have begun assisting our clients in strengthening and enhancing their operations,” he said.

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