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EU to Support Economic Diversification in Libya

Tunis, 21 October 2022, Libya has launched a consultation process for a national economic diversification strategy. The European Union (EU) is supporting the strategy to diversify Libya’s oil-driven economy and boost the country’s private sector development.

A high-level conference in Tunis on 21 October 2022 brought together policy makers, economic experts and business leaders from Libya’s evolving private sector. The conference marked the launch of a wide consultation process to develop a national economic diversification strategy by mid-2024.

“Increasing the national income and defining a national strategy for economic diversification is among the priorities of the Ministry of Economy and Trade. The diversification strategy is important to develop the service and production sectors, decrease the dependencies on oil and harness Libya’s other potentials.” said Mr. Mohamed Al-Huwaij, Minister of Economy and Trade in Libya.

The European Union is supporting the process of establishing a Libyan national economic diversification strategy through its “E-NABLE” project. “The EU has set a strong focus on supporting Libya’s private sector. On the one hand, we are working with Libyan institutions on creating a more business and investment friendly environment, streamlining and digitalizing administrative procedures such as business registration or the administration of taxes. On the other hand, the EU also directly supports the Libyan private sector, young entrepreneurs and start-ups, to realise their business plans and help them become more competitive on the market” explained Francesca Cuccia, Programme Manager for private sector development at the EU Delegation to Libya.

The EU’s “E-NABLE” project brings together Libyan and international experts in economic diversification policies, private sector development, value chains and business and investment environments, and presents best practices in countries with similar contexts to Libya. The project will also support the work of a national committee of Libyan key stakeholders that is expected to develop a national action plan for all involved institutions and sectors.

“Economic diversification is one of the key pillars of achieving sustainable development. Our objective is to support Libya to reduce its dependence on a single source of income and move to strengthening the industrial and agricultural economic base to support building a healthy local economy” said Mr. Julien Schmitt, Director of Libyan programmes at Expertise France, the EU’s partner in implementing E-NABLE.

According to the participating economic experts, Libya has a strong potential to develop new industrial clusters in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, transportation, fishing, and tourism, thus contributing to the growth of a strong and sustainable economy.