Minister of Economy and Trade of the Tripoli-based Libyan government, Mohamed Hwej, held a meeting with the Ambassador of Tunisia to Libya, Al-Asaad Al-Ajili, in the presence of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation and Organizations, Omar Al-Kutti and the President of the Libyan-Tunisian Chamber of Commerce Samir Al-Wafi, in order to follow up on the commercial movement through land ports and facilitating transit procedures for citizens, goods and services on both sides.
Commenting on the meeting, the head of the Libyan-Tunisian Chamber of Commerce, Samir Al-Wafi, told Libya Herald, “This meeting comes as part of the efforts to enhance joint economic cooperation between Libya and Tunisia, especially since Libya enjoys good economic resources and Tunisia has sufficient experience in several fields in addition to possessing qualified human cadres.
This makes the economic relationship between Libya and Tunisia a complementary one and makes the partnership between them an ideal partnership that benefits the economies of the two countries’’.
Libyan-Tunisian trade at LD 5 bn / US$ 977 in 2022 – up 50 percent on 2021
Al-Wafi referred to the role played by the Libyan-Tunisian Chamber of Commerce, in participating in opening horizons of cooperation between the private sector in the two countries, converging points of view, networking commercial relations between businessmen, establishing partnerships, establishing investments and concluding deals to increase the volume of trade exchanged.
He said in 2022 bi lateral trade reached approximately 5 billion Libyan dinars, about US$ 977 million, an increase of 50 percent compared to 2021.
Need to establish a free zone
Al-Wafi believes that a great economic partnership between Libya and Tunisia is indispensable and that there is the need to establish a free zone between them as soon as possible. He referred to a plan proposed by the Tunisian government regarding the establishment of a free zone in Choucha -located 5 km away on the Tunisian-Libyan border inside Tunisia. He said this free zone would contribute to reducing smuggling across the border and limiting the flow of parallel trade. This, he reminded, is not subject to the commercial laws in force in both countries, which harms the economy in both countries.
Convening of the Joint Libyan-Tunisian Higher Committee
It is worth noting that the meeting touched on the ongoing arrangements for the convening of the Joint Libyan-Tunisian Higher Committee and emphasized the importance of strengthening trade relations between the two countries and supporting business owners and companies in both countries, which contributes to increasing the volume of trade exchanged.