The Address | Benghazi – Libya
WASHINGTON – Michael Guidry, founder and CEO of Guidry Group, a Texas-based crisis management company, announced his attempt to build a $1 billion port in Susa, a coastal town 20 miles northwest of Bayda, Libya’s fourth-largest city.
Guidry’s core business has been protecting corporate clients from kidnappings in unstable countries. He has now turned to infrastructure investment in “high-risk areas” where he sees potential for security stabilization and economic growth. Three years ago, he won a contract to build the deep-water port in Susa. He now hopes to break ground in 2020.
“At the moment, we are the only American company working in Libya, but I’m hoping we can start to pave the way for other U.S. firms to assist us in rebuilding the country,” Guidry said in a recent interview with the Washington Times, “I don’t think it’s good for America if the Russians or Chinese get in before us.”
Guidry’s work is a sign of how oil-rich Libya may return to economic growth — if it can avoid more violence and find a measure of political coherence.
Wolfgang Pusztai, a security analyst and chairman of the advisory board of the National Council on U.S.-Libya Relations, said American support will be needed for a stabilization period as long as six years before Libya is capable of providing security and achieving economic progress.
“The American main focus with regard to Libya until now has focused on counter-terrorism operations,” said Pusztai, who expressed optimism about the U.N.-sponsored national conference in January where international negotiators would iron out plans for the June vote. “We hope [the conference] in January could be a real chance to change the path of the efforts for stabilization and mechanisms to use oil revenues as a glue to keep the country together.”