Outside of the oil industry, foreign investment in Libya is limited. No foreign investment is allowed in certain areas, including banking, insurance, domestic commerce, and foreign aid. A minimum of 51% of the capital of joint stock companies must be held by Libyans and the chairman of the board of directors must be a Libyan national.
With the massive increase in oil revenues in the 1970s, Libya became a major exporter of capital. Economic cooperation agreements were signed with many African countries and in 1976 Libya purchased 10% of the shares of the Italian auto company Fiat; it sold its Fiat holdings in 1986 for about $3 billion.
In 1999, with the lifting of international sanctions on Libya, Qadhafi called for foreign investment in the energy sector (hydrocarbons, power, and water). He also encouraged investment in telecommunications, transport, and electricity generation.