Tenth German Libyan Economic Forum
Sunday, March 9th, 2008
For the first time in years, German-Libyan economic relations have again shown strong growth in German exports. In the first eight months of 2007, German exports to Libya rose by 21.3 % to 450 million euros. Imports from Libya – primarily oil – on the other hand, declined in value by 12.1 % to 2.7 Billion euros because Germany imported less oil from Libya.
This was reported by the Africa Association of German Business during the 10th German-Libyan Economic Forum (DLWF) that took place from November 20 to 21, 2007, in Hamburg. More than 120 Libyan and some 170 German representatives of business and politics came together for the two-day forum.
The focus of the anniversary event was bilateral talks between business people of both countries. The major subjects of the forum were energy, health, and infrastructure.
“The possibilities for investment are enormous,” declared Mohamed H. Kanoun, Chair of the Libyan Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Hafed Gabour, Libya‘s ambassador in Rome, was encouraging, “There is a large development program in Libya. We in Libya want the Germans to get a bigger share of it. Trust in German products is very great.”With a ten percent share in its oilimports, Libya is Germany‘s fourth most important supplier of oil worldwide and number one in Africa. “Libya is Germany‘s most important OPEC supplier,” said Dr. TiesTiessen, member of the board of directors of Wintershall AG and DLWF‘s chair, pointing out Libya‘s significance. The Wintershall AG is the major German investor in the North African country. The Libyan state, in turn, owns are finery in Hamburg and the German Tamoil (a service station operator) near Hamburg through Libyan state enterprises (the OilinvestGroup).
The volume of German-Libyan trade has grown since 1997 from 2.1 billion euros to around 5.6 billio neuros. The major reason is the great increase of German imports from1.6 billion euros to 5 billion euros. While the price for a barrel of oil in 1997 still averaged 20 U.S. dollars, it has now risen to around 90 U.S. dollars. German exports, on the other hand,have only increased from around480 to 592 million euros.The Africa Association of German Business organized the German-Libyan Economic Forum for the tenth time within the frame-work of the North African Middle East Initiative of German Business (NMI) and in cooperation with the Libyan People‘s Office in Berlin as well as the Libyan Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.