By Sami Zaptia.
London, 20 September 2021:
Cruises between Turkey and Libya will start by the end of September, and Turkish exports to Libya are up and are expected to reach over US$ 2 billion by the end of the year, Murtaza Karanfil, chairman of the Turkey-Libya Business Council of the Council on Foreign Economic Relations (DEIK) told Turkish media over the weekend.
Karanfil noted that economic relations between Turkey and Libya have improved since the Government of National Unity under the prime ministership of Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba took office in March this year.
Turkish exports up
“Our exports have risen by 65 percent. As of the end of the seventh month, it had come to US$ 1.3 billion. That means we’re going to close the year with over $ 2 billion. We made these exports with the private sector. This means that since the Government of National Unity was elected, hope has begun to sprout in Libya.”
Lack of budget approval disruptive
Karanfil also mentioned the failure of Ageela Saleh, the head of the House of Representatives, to approve Libya’s 2021 budget, which he said the Libyan government has been waiting for for about four months. “The lack of budget approval is disrupting public services in Libya and unsettling the Libyan public, who have high expectations,” he added.
Karanfil said that cruises will soon begin between Misrata, Libya, and Izmir, and that preparations are being completed.
He explained that they implemented the project as Karanfil Group from Turkey, in partnership with Kavelay Tourism and the Libyan Iron and Steel Company (LISCO) in Misrata. We will revive and launch cruises that have not been done in 40 years,” he said.
Cruise ships will carry passengers, cars and freight
“We will now start these expeditions with two cruise ships in the first place. We’re guessing the first trips will start at the end of this month. Each ship has 400 beds. One has a capacity of 1200 passengers and the other has a capacity of 700 passengers. In addition to freight and passenger transportation, travel by car will also be available. The ships have an average capacity of 500 vehicles.
We are considering a program that will revive the economy and tourism of a rare city like Izmir. We planned as Izmir in the first place, but we plan to go to a variety of ships and expeditions in the advanced stage.”
Karanfil said he expects the Turkish authorities to take steps to abolish visas for Libyans.