By Sami Zaptia.
London, 15 December 2020:
Acting UNSMIL head, Stephanie Williams, convened yesterday a technical meeting on critical reforms of the Libyan economy, UNSMIL reported yesterday. The meeting, co-presided by Egypt, the United States, and the European Union, as co-chairs of the Economic Working Group on Libya of the Berlin Process, and attended by the World Bank, brings together representatives of:
- Both branches of the Central Bank of Libya
- The Ministry of Finance
- The Audit Bureau
- The National Oil Corporation (NOC)
- Members of the Libyan Experts Economic Commission
UNSMIL reported that the meeting discussed:
- Currency reform
- The banking crisis
- The unification of the national budget
- A timetable to implement these reforms
UNSMIL highlighted the fact that the meeting in Geneva is taking place against the backdrop of several promising developments, including:
- The full resumption of Libyan oil production thanks to the significant efforts of the National Oil Corporation.
It will be recalled that under the Maetig-Hafter oil production/export agreement, he revenues thus far accrued by the NOC are being withheld from the Tripoli CBL pending further progress towards a more durable economic arrangement.
Reunification of Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Libya
The participants also broadly welcomed the decision by the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Libya to this week convene a board meeting that is expected to tackle unification of the exchange rate. The unification of Libya’s financial institutions is crucial for the success of the needed economic reforms.
International audit of both branches of the Central Bank of Libya
UNSMIL said it continues to facilitate the international audit review of both branches of the Central Bank of Libya and revealed the audit is now nearly halfway complete. It stressed that it is a vital process to ease the re-unification of the Central Bank and to fully re-establish national accountability mechanisms.
UNSMIL presses for decisions within two days
“I sincerely hope that in the next two days an agreement can be reached on concrete objectives on the issues of currency reform, the cheque clearing crisis, the overall banking crisis, and budget unification as well as on a clear timetable for actions to be taken to implement these reforms,” Williams said addressing the meeting.
She reiterated that, “Time is not on your side. We need to move quickly and decisively, and I count on you to take these important steps in the coming two days.”