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Libyan oil-financed boom proves a mirage

NEWS

BRITISH firms are being told not to bother looking for work in Libya because the promised building boom shows no sign of happening.

Two years ago, contractors were being encouraged to nip in ahead of their US rivals to cash in on a massive spending programme bankrolled by oil revenues.

But this week a report from British Expertise - formerly the British Consultants and Construction Bureau - will land on the desk of Sir Vincent Fean, the British ambassador in Libyan capital Tripoli, painting a downbeat picture of the work opportunities there.

Phil Dowrick, British Expertise's director for Middle East and the report's author, said: 'The initial enthusiasm in Libya has proved to be less realistic than the ambition.

'There is a market but it is only for the very large firms, those with 1,000 employees or more.'