E&Y expands footprint into

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.