The Turkey-Libya Business Council Chairman, Murtaza Karanfil, said Tuesday his country's exports to Libya could be increased from 1 billion dollars to 10, telling Anadolu Agency that Libya is now preparing for investments in aviation, infrastructure and other service sectors' projects.
Karanfil said that Libyan authorities have invited Turkish gas and oil companies to Libya, “stressing that Turkish energy companies have not been able to get the necessary share of oil and gas reserves in the country and should receive a higher share.”
He said Turkey’s business relations with the Libya are not limited to the construction sector, though it has had a large share of the pie.
"The cooperation on the oil and gas sector has also gained momentum especially after the two countries in late 2019 signed a pact on maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean. The cost of gas production in Libya is cheaper than other countries in the region." Karanfil added.
He also indicated the total value of the projects completed abroad by the Turkish construction sector is $428 billion (TL 1 trillion), and Libya has a $29 billion share in this, despite the incomplete projects over security reasons, which are now projected to continue.
Turkey’s exports to Libya are also not at the desired level. The foreign sales to the country stood at $2 billion ($11.89 billion) in 2019 with a 29% increase compared with the previous year but were still less than the 2013 figure of $2.7 billion before civil war broke out in the country.
During the meeting in which the MoU was signed, Libya's Planning Minister al-Hadi al-Taher al-Juhaimi said the country plans to kick off 184 new projects, prioritizing infrastructure, health and education and has allocated a $16 billion budget for this.
With strong ties dating back to the Ottoman era, Turkey and Libya last November signed an agreement on maritime boundaries, along with a separate agreement on security and military cooperation.
Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank and Libyan Central Bank Gov. Saddek Omar el-Kaber and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) Chairman Dr. Ali Mahmoud also signed an economy, technology cooperation protocol earlier this month.