The United States Department of State has released Investment Climate Statements, including a report on Libya, in which it notes corruption as one of the key factors driving foreign investments away.
The report released on Wednesday said that "Libya has a very unclear and non-transparent regulatory system, and the roles and duties of its government institutions are not well defined."
It went on to say that the country ranked very low in international Transparency lists, including in the "Ease of Doing Business" Index by the World Bank and Transparency International, which ranked Libya 171 out of 180 countries.
Bureaucratic delays and the lack of clear mechanisms of accountability and transparency remain a challenge; Its legal and policy frameworks are also a concern, the report notes.
"The process of granting licenses and permits is often subject to long and unexplained delays, and the decisions are usually based on subjective and non-transparent criteria. This has created a situation where corruption and exploitation are widespread."
It further noted the authority's failure to take action to promote transparency, including by mandating companies to report on their environmental, social, and governance practices.
"Libya scores zero out of five (with five being the best) in the Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance by the World Bank."
As for the financial sector, the report notes the low volume of trading in Libya's stock market.
"Capital markets in Libya are underdeveloped, and the absence of a venture capital industry limits opportunities for SMEs with growth potential and innovative start-ups to access risk financing for their ventures."