The Ministry of Economy and Trade said that there were large quantities in the market of various basic goods to meet the needs of consumers for the coming months, including the month of Ramadan. The fasting month of Ramadan is a high consumption month of foodstuffs.
Libya imports over 80 percent of its foodstuffs which are dependent on (hard currency) letters of credit being granted by the Central Bank of Libya. The prices of these food import are invariably linked to world prices and inflation.
The news was revealed during a meeting led by Mohamed Hwej at his Ministry on Monday. The meeting including several relevant entities, including the Union of Chambers and regional Chambers of Commerce, the Libyan Business Council and the Libyan Industry Union.
Price stability and health requirements
The meeting discussed mechanisms for controlling and stabilizing prices during the holy month of Ramadan. It also reviewed the current market situation and January prices, and the extent of providing basic commodities as well as providing health requirements in the goods.
Plenty of goods available
However, the ministry reported that attendees emphasized the availability of large quantities for the coming months from various goods in stores to meet the needs of the consumption of citizens, including the requirements of the holy month of Ramadan – which starts around 23 March.
Three months’ stock
Nevertheless, the Minister called on suppliers to maintain stocks of basic commodities for at least three months. He praised the cooperation of the Central Bank of Libya in opening the necessary letters of credits for importers – in time and to cover demand.
Opening new livestock import market
The ministry also reported that there will be coordination with the Food and Drug Control Centre and the Animal Health Centre with the possibility of opening new markets for importing meat, which contributes to facilitating the import process for suppliers.
Workshop on consumer protection
The Minister indicated that all measures are taken to protect the consumer from the high prices. In this context, a workshop will be held on consumer protection with civil society institutions. He thanked the Administrative Control Authority for its adoption and support for issuing the Consumer Protection Law.
Needy families to be compensated
The Minister also indicated that the government of national unity will compensate needy families during the blessed month of Ramadan and work to import live animals in agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture to maintain market stability.
Tripoli Chamber of Commerce’s view
Attending the meeting, Tripoli Chamber of Commerce reported that the attendees also touched on a number of difficulties and obstacles facing business owners and companies in the operations of supplying goods and transporting goods through the ports. They put forward proposals that contribute to overcoming the difficulties, supporting suppliers, facilitating supply and flow of goods, and stabilizing their prices in the local market.
Strategic stocks of all food commodities
Tripoli Chamber reported that the Minister directed the implementation of a joint mechanism under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Trade and the participation of relevant authorities, chambers of commerce and business owners that contribute to the continuity of the availability of strategic stocks of all food commodities, follow-up on their flow, and facilitate financial procedures for suppliers and transport and handling operations in coordination with the competent authorities.
Call to sell basic foodstuffs at cost during Ramadan
The Minister also called on businesses to adopt the initiative to sell basic commodities at cost during the holy month of Ramadan.