By Sami Zaptia.
London, 7 May 2021:
The Italian-Libyan Association for Business Development (ILDBA) conducted a three-day visit to Misrata where it met with traders, large companies, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as associations and financial organizations to understand the needs of Libyans and what contribution Italian companies can provide at this stage of recovery.
The ILBDA’s Media Representative said the Misrata visit comes ahead of its April announcement that it will be holding the First Economic Forum for Libya in Tunis on 7-8 June.
Under the banner “Together We Go Further”, the ILBDA said the event will be dedicated to business development for the pursuit of reconstructing Libya and will convene institutions, municipalities, entities, companies, and entrepreneurs from Italy, Libya, and Tunisia, looking for strategic commercial, financial and technological alliances.
Thanking the mayor of Misrata Mahmoud al-Sigutri for the hospitality, ILBDA president Sandro Fratini, expressed surprise and appreciation for the great results that Libyan companies have managed to achieve despite the difficult circumstances that the country has gone through in recent years.
“Libya has immense potential. A great availability of resources, a cultural heritage, and a well-educated population, in particular its young people with strong potential, are factors to be exploited more to create a diversified and dynamic economy. This is demonstrated by the companies in Misrata which are making important investments, implementing new production lines, expansions and successful projects in a relatively short time”, said Fratini.
“Economic development, entrepreneurship and private investment to strengthen the peace process and contribute to the growth of Libya, is an opportunity for Italy”, Fratini added.
The mayor, for his part, expressed his desire to strengthen commercial relations between the two countries, welcoming the association and Italian entrepreneurs to the city of Misrata.
Misrata Free Zone – hoping for direct lines to Italy and Europe
ILBDA appreciated in the Misrata Free Zone an advanced and well-organized investment environment, suitable for receiving large industrial, commercial, and service operations, available to those who wish to invest. “The free port of Misurata has 3500 hectares including the seaport with the potential for expansion up to 20,000 hectares”. President Muhsin M. Sigutri explained, hoping for the creation of direct shipping lines with Italy and Europe.
Libyan Business Council
During talks with representatives of the Libyan Business Council (LBC), Fratini expressed the desire of many Italian companies to invest in Libya and participate concretely in the reconstruction of the North African country. Ahmed Almazeg, a member of the LBC’s Management Board, said that Libyans desire to do business with Italy, but communications are often difficult.
The ILBDA confirmed its willingness to facilitate relations between the companies of the two countries, not only through forums and meetings, but also by organizing missions to Misrata and other cities in Libya in the near future.
Misrata International Fair
The ILBDA paid a visit to the Misurata International Fair, a large and organized exhibition space where thousands of companies every year showcase their products and projects.
The ILBDA also visited several manufacturing plants and companies in Misrata, including the Libyan Iron and Steel Company (LISCO), considered one of the largest industrial companies in Libya, located on an area of 1,200 hectares.
The company’s plant capacity is 1,324 million tons of liquid steel per year, adopting direct reduction of iron pellets and using domestic natural gas. The company has a direct reduction plant (3 units), steel casting workshops, 4 bar mill lines, a medium and light section mill, a hot rolling mill, a cold rolling mill, galvanizing line, and coating.
Aljaied Food Import Company
The ILBDA then visited the plants of the Aljaied Food Import Company, an exclusive agent of many of the world’s leading brands as well as importing, producing and distributing various food commodities. The company is interested in obtaining exclusive agencies of international food brands.
Al Naseem foods
The ILBDA visited the Al Naseem factory – probably the leading food producer in Libya – producing ice cream, yoghurt and milk products and exporting to neighbouring countries.
Misrata Medical Centre
The ILBDA also inspected the new wing of the Misrata Medical Centre. The public hospital complex has over 480 beds and the number of medical personnel reaches 1,402 specialists, including doctors, auxiliaries, and managers. The hospital is the only health facility in the city of Misrata that provides first aid and accident rescue.
“The interest in providing the best health services to the Libyan community in general, and Misrata in particular, is our main goal, our strength lies in teamwork, we are motivated by love for the homeland and a sense of responsibility”, Eyab Mohamed Elbira, General Manager of the Misrata Medical Centre, stated. He hoped for greater collaboration and exchange with Italian hospitals, especially in terms of training and scientific research.
ILBDA’s mission concluded with a meeting with the Italian Ambassador in Tripoli, Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi, who expressed his appreciation for the spirit of initiative of Sandro Fratini and ILBDA in the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, reaffirming the support of institutions to the association and to Italian companies wishing to invest and work in Libya.