Libya rush should start urgently, minister says

Turkish construction companies should rush back to Libya, their one-time top market, as the government is ready to support them, according to Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan.

“Our businessmen demand a special customs permit to take their machinery and equipment to Libya,” the minister said during a press meeting yesterday in Tripoli with his Libyan counterpart.

A business assembly of 200 people accompanied the minister during the one-day visit.

Turkish companies undertook $7.627 billion worth of projects in Libya in 2009 and 2010, according to official data.

Turkish contractors will start building facilities like schools, mosques, police stations, courts and jails for free once the Libyan authorities finalize determining their needs, the minister said.

The ministry runs a budget of $50 million to support consultancy practices for Turkish companies worldwide, Çağlayan said, adding that Turkey will pay up to $300,000 per project in Libya within the scope of this fund, calling it a gesture. “Libyan authorities will not pay for it.” he said.

Turkey will work on using this fund mostly in Libya.

Abdullah Shamia, the economy minister of the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Tripoli, said Libya had a lot to learn from Turkey’s experiences. Turkey backed Libya during the transition period, Shamia said.

“We have overcome our cash problem due to Turkey’s support,” he said.

(Source: Anatolia News Agency)

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