Turkey's exports to Libya increase by 58 pct

Turkey's exports to war-torn Libya rose by 58 percent year-on-year between January and April of this year to $826 million, the head of a leading Turkish trade group said on Sunday.

Turkey’s exports to Libya were almost double that of the country’s overall average of 33.1 percent, state-run Anadolu news agency cited Murtaza Karanfil, chairman of the Turkey-Libya Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK), as saying.

Turkey is heavily involved in Libya and the main backer of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) against Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), which is supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Turkey and the Tripoli-based GNA signed the maritime accord, which has been heavily criticised by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, and a military cooperation deal in November 2019. 

Ankara also maintains close ties to Libya’s pro-Turkey interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who was elected in February. 

Noting that the Turkish private sector is enthusiastic about partaking in new projects in Libya, Karanfil said, Turkish contractors had "important duties in terms of both the infrastructure and superstructure for the rebuilding of the country.’’

Turkish investors could play a larger role in Libya in the coming years in the fields of energy, the defence industry, recycling, and chemicals, according to the DEİK chairman.

Dbeibeh travelled to Turkey last month where he met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Speaking at a roundtable of Turkish and Libyan officials, Dbeibeh listed measures his government would take to facilitate greater investment from Turkey.