By Ashraf Abdelwahab.
Tripoli, 3 June 2013:
The Egyptian Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Tariq Wafiq, confirmed that four cooperation protocols had . . .[restrict]been signed between the Libyan and Egyptian Ministries of Housing in the fields of: urban planning, training, establishment of new urban communities and real estate financing.
These were reached following a meeting with the Libyan Minister of Housing and Utilities, Ali Hussein Sherief and his accompanying delegation to Egypt in late May.
The Minister of Housing explained that the Planning Authorities of Egypt will help in the restructuring the Libyan Planning Authority, in addition to providing technical expertise and support needed, pointing out that Libya is undergoing a construction boom after the revolution and as such, the construction planning will play a key role in achieving this.
The Egyptian Minister added that the Central Agency for Reconstruction at the Ministry of Housing will provide various training services to Libyans. The Central Agency for Reconstruction manages 65 training centers in the field of building and construction, and will be ready to train any Libyan workers, technicians or supervisors on ten major construction occupations, in addition to providing training on the operating and maintenance of equipment.
Wafiq added that the Libyan Minister had declared the intention of establishing a body similar to the Egyptian New Urban Communities Authority, and that a protocol will also be signed for the transfer of Egyptian expertise in the establishment and development of new Libyan cities. He also added that a final protocol will also be signed for real estate financing in order to offer the benefit of Egypt’s experience in this sector.
The obstacles facing Egyptian construction workers in Libya, were also discussed during the meeting, including the difficulties in obtaining entry visas and money transfers from Libya. An agreement was reached to resolve these problems and to work on speeding the process of visa granting for Egyptian workers who want to work in Libya.
An agreement was also reached to take advantage of the presence of a branch of the Egyptian Housing and Development Bank in Libya in facilitating money transfers by Egyptian workers.
The Libyan Minister of Housing and Utilities, Ali Hussein Sherief, stated that Libya is facing problems with housing in general and that some housing projects were delayed because of the revolution, adding that his ministry is working on the re-establishment of such projects in order to meet the aspirations of the Libyan people in various fields.
Sherief pointed out that his ministry was working on resolving all these issues, in terms of releasing the outstanding late payments due to construction companies, or through the disbursement of compensations to those who’s houses were affected during the revolution. There was also the alternative possibility of extending the implementation period of these projects, where the ministry would make a financial re balance of contracts for the completion of the projects.
The Minister promised to consider any demands of the Egyptian contracting companies which have projects in Libya, pointing out that Libya will open the doors of real estate investment and development in the coming period, when there will also be an opportunity for all companies to bid for projects, stressing the Ministry’s desire for cooperation with Egypt in various fields.
The Libyan Minister of Housing and Utilities and accompanying delegation toured the cities of New Cairo as well as the Tenth of Ramadan, during which they visited a number of housing projects of various categories. [/restrict]