By Sami Zaptia.
London, 14 August 2020:
The internationally recognized Libyan government based in Tripoli signed economic and trade understandings with Turkey in Ankara yesterday.
The agreement is part of cooperation between the two countries to complete 184 stalled construction projects in Libya estimated at US$ 16 bn.
Speaking at a press conference after the signing event, Tripoli’s Planning Minister, Taher Al- Jahemi said Turkey had the ”lion’s share” of projects in Libya. ‘‘Turkey has infrastructure projects in Libya estimated at 20 percent of the total existing projects contracted between 2008-2012, which is one of the largest shares for countries with projects contracted with the Libyan state, estimated at 184 projects’’.
Meanwhile, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said at the press conference that the agreement paves the way for the return of Turkish companies to Libya with the aim of completing a portion of their total delayed projects in Libya, which total more than US$ 28 bn.
She added that the agreement will contribute to the implementation of stalled projects and that it serves as guidelines to help the parties complete the joint work.
The return of Turkish companies to their stalled projects will contribute to meeting Libya’s needs and strengthening infrastructure and development, adding that Turkish companies have worked to establish 10,000 projects worth US$ 107 bn in 127 countries.
It will be recalled that Turkish companies were forced to leave Libya in 2018 when three engineers were kidnapped and held hostage for eight months before finally being released.
In 2019, Turkey had $2 billion worth of exports to Libya, an increase of 29 percent compared to 2018. Before Libya’s fighting started in 2013 Turkish exports had amounted to US$ 2.7 bn.