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Libyan-Turkish Economic Forum to be held


Libyan-Turkish Economic Forum to be held

Libya Turkey Economy
Photo: Mahmud Turkia/ AFP/ Getty

The Libyan-Turkish Trade Platform launches today in Istanbul to boost bilateral economic cooperation.

The forum seeks to restore economic relations between the two countries by initiating 184 new projects in Libya with an allocated $16 billion budget, primarily in the infrastructure, construction, education and health fields.

Besides helping Turkey reap economic gains, the forum also allows Ankara to expand its influence in Libya from just military support to a long-term economic presence. It will also empower its ally, PM Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA), domestically. The survival of Turkey’s maritime delineation agreement with Libya, which allows Turkey to justify its drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, hinges not only on the GNA’s survival but also on Turkey’s ability to maintain its relationship with the Tripoli-based government.

Though the GNA currently needs Turkey as a regional backer, both al-Sarraj and Defence Minister Fathi Bashagha—with whom infighting in late August was followed by al-Sarraj’s abrupt announcement to leave office before November—are attempting to diversify their foreign alliances, namely with Egypt and France. In light of these challenges, expect Turkey to encourage maximum cooperation with Libyan businesses, particularly those in the energy sector and the recently reopened oil market.

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