Turkey, Economy

Turkey eyes $120B investment potential in Libya

Turkish businesses expected to play important role in reconstruction effort in Libya

Ugur Aslanhan   | 05.03.2020
Turkey eyes $120B investment potential in Libya

ISTANBUL

Turkish investors should harness Libya's $120 billion investment volume -- especially in the contracting sector -- said the chairman of the Turkey-Libya Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) on Thursday.

"There is a call from Libya in this direction," said Murtaza Karanfil, adding that Libya was undergoing a reconstruction process and that there were major opportunities in all of the country's sectors.

"During the reconstruction process, houses, public buildings and roads will be rebuilt in Libya," said Karanfil.

Turkey exports a wide variety of products to Libya including jewelry, furniture, poultry, carpets, semi-finished steel, hygienic towel, diaper, vegetable fixed oil, plastic profile, plastic packaging materials, medicine and clothing.

Due to difficulties in the country -- where Turkish contractors had undertaken their first overseas projects -- projects worth $19 billion remain unfinished, Karanfil said.

He explained that Turkish contractors currently had a total of $4 billion in receivables due to losses including collateral, machinery and equipment.

"With an agreement to be signed between the two countries, we expect serious progress in the resolution of commercial problems in the coming period in contracting," he noted.

"We believe that as soon as we resolve the old issues on receivables, we will take things from where we left off in Libya and move them to much better points," Karanfil said.

Referring to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Chinese economy, he said China's share in Libya's imports is around 13%.

"We [Turkey] can well turn China's share in Libya and African countries to our favor using the advantages of our geopolitical location and by correct process management," he said.

He also said that Turkey's exports to Libya exceeded $2 billion in 2012 and peaked before declining due to political upheaval in the country.

"Exports increased again in 2017 and reached $1.9 billion in 2019, with an increase of 29% compared to the previous year," Karanfil added.

* Writing by Aysu Bicer

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