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Libya has a highest per-capita GNI in Africa, great potential for fast growthReport on Libya at 3rd Anniversary of ‘Glorious Feb.-17 Revolution’

National Flag of Libya

General Information

The following are details concerning the general aspects of the State of Libya on occasion of the 3rd anniversary of the Glorious of the 17th February Revolution carried out by the Libyan people in 2011 against the dictatorial regime, which had ruled the country since 1969.

With the successful completion of the revolution, a new page opened in the Libyan political history as it seeks to consolidate and deepen the values of freedom and democracy, build a safe community, plan to achieve comprehensive development and reconstruction in all sectors, and play a positive role to contribute to regional and international peace and stability.

Official Name: State of Libya

Location: Libya is located in North Africa, bordered to the north by the Mediterranean Sea with six other neighbors Tunisia, Algeria to the west and Egypt and Sudan to the east, and Niger, Chad to the south. That location has enabled Libya to witness many civilizations and became throughout the ages an important trade way links between Africa and Europe continents.

Area: Total area 1,759,540 sq. km with surface comprising coastal plains as Libya's coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean beside plateaus and mountains. The desert “Sahara” extends deep into the south with its scattered oases and small towns.

Capital and major cities: Tripoli is the capital with many other large cities such as Benghazi, Misurata, Al-Beda, Darna, Tubruq, Al-Zawia and Sebha, etc.

Climate: The coastal regions benefit of moderate atmospheric conditions mild winter and warm summers- while in the desert, the winter seasons are cold and the summer is very hot. By general, average temperature degrees between 15C during winter and 35C during summer time.

Population: 6,237.393 inhabitants (as of 2013 est.), 78% of them living in the urban districts.

Languages: Arabic is official language with English and Italian widely used in major cities.

Religion: Islam is the main religion of the country.

Currency: Dinar is the official local currency.

Rate Exchange: 1 L.D = US$ 1.30

Political system

Flag description: Since the dawn of the outbreak of the revolution of February 17, 2011 the Libyan people restored flag of the independence of Libya which was announced in 1951 for flying in the skies of the country. Three horizontal bands of red (top), black (double width) with a white crescent and star centered on the middle and green color (down).

Chief of state: President, General National Congress, Mr. Nuri Abu Sahmayn (2013).

Head of government: Prime Minister Mr. Ali Zydan (since 14 October 2012)

Cabinet: Cabinet approved by the National Congress on 31 October 2012

Legislative branch: Political parties in Libya include some of the larger political parties such as Al-Watan Party (Homeland); Justice and Construction Party (JCP); National Front; National Forces Alliance (including many political organizations, NGOs, and independents); Union for the Homeland.

Elections: First GNC election held on 7 July 2012 and the 2012 election law calls for 200 seats on the General National Congress. The seats were distributed among the independents (120) - NFA (39), JCP 17, and the remaining seat were for other political parties.

Economy:
The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenue of oil and gas, which contribute to about 95% of export earnings, 65% of GDP, and 80% of government revenue. Substantial revenue from the energy sector coupled with a small population gives Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa.

Economic Resources:
Oil & Gas:
Libya is a global major country in producing oil and gas and an OPEC member. Daily oil production of Libya reached 1.58 million barrels (2013). Despite the damage of the oil sector in Libya during 2011 due to military operations that have emerged in the wake of the popular revolution on the Gaddafi regime the production of Libyan oil recovery, exceeded the expectations of most analysts in the oil industry

Crude oil - proved reserves: 48.1 billion bbl. (1 January 2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.547 trillion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): US$87.91 billion (2012)
Labor force: 1.252 million (2011)
Agricultural products: Wheat, barley, olives, dates, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans

Industries: Petroleum, petrochemicals, aluminum, iron and steel, food-processing, textiles, cement
Exports: Crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals
$51.48 billion (2012)
$15.16billion (as 2011), exports had shrunken due to instability in Libya.
Exports - partners: Italy 23.3%, Germany 12.4%, China 11.2%, France 9.7%, Spain 7.6%, UK 4.7%, US 4.5% (as 2012)
Imports: Machinery, semi-finished goods, food, transport equipment’s, consumer products
$16.31billion (2012)
$10.07 billion (2011)
Import - partners
China 13%, Turkey 11.6%, Italy 8.2%, Egypt 7.7%, Tunisia 6.6%, South Korea 5.8%, Greece 5.4%, Germany 4.6% (as 2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange: $118.6 billion (as of 31 December 2012 est.)
$105 billion (as of 2011 est.)
Debt External
$ 5.278 billion (as of 31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of Direct Foreign Investment abroad
$ 17.21 billion (as of 31 December 2012 est.)

Museum Lake - Tripoli - old city in Libya

Transportation:
Airports: 146 airports (68) with paved runways and there are (78) with unpaved runways (as 2013)
Pipelines: condensate 882 km; gas 3,743 km; oil 7,005km (2013)
Roadways: total: 100,024 km (2003) including57, 214 km paved and 42,810 km unpaved
Ports and terminals: Al Zawiyah, Marsa el Braga, Ra's Lanuf, Tripoli

Tourist attractions sites in Libya: Libya has many ecological zones and each of these zones has its own tourist attractions. The first zone covers by Mediterranean’s coastal stripe from west to east as include several tourism sites including warm and sunny weather beaches. Libya is home to world class beaches such as Farwa Island beach with velvety white sand with palm trees located in the city of Sabratah, Ras AL teen beach and many other beaches with features of diving opportunity and small cafes for visitors to enjoy like Tobruk and Derna fortress and Germany cemetery.
Besides that, Libya has been inhabited since ancient times, when it was important center of culture and commerce and is filled with archeological sites such as Sabratah, which is home to many Roman ruins including temples, baths and amphitheaters. As well as, there is a Cyrene, a world heritage site, was a major outpost of Greeks in Hellenic time and Leptis Magan.
In Libya Just as the Mediterranean meets the Sahara, the visitors can find excellent desert spots such as sand skiing and explore beauty and attractiveness of the depths of desert by watching mountains and oases in the middle of the desert surrounded by palms and sand dunes in a scene cannot be seen, just, only in the movies.
In addition, Libya, as Muslim country, has many mosques for faithful to pray in, but many of which characterized with traditional Arabic and Turkish architecture and design styles and some of these mosques were established during 10th century to become tourist attractions add to other tourist attractiveness sites in Libya.

Foreign relations

After the victory of the 17th Feb.2011 revolution, the Libyan Government has worked closely with the international community on coordinating efforts to assist Libya to build democratic institutions and starts to implement the plans of reconstruction and establish the rules of a foreign policy based on the regional convergence as Libya has worked to develop and create a balance in its relations with neighboring countries through the confirm of good neighborliness and non- interference in internal affairs and support the local , regional and international efforts to promote peace and stability , starting from Libya . The Libyan Government has also reinforced its relations with the EU, United States, UN and Asian countries including Republic of Korea. Addition to that, Libya is an active member of several regional and international organizations such as African Union (AU), Arab League and United Nations (UN) and other.

Korean-Libyan relations

Libya and Korea have maintained strong friendship relations since 1970s through positive creative cooperation in the field of urban development and infrastructure sectors that are directly associated with the lives of the Libyan people. Therefore, Libyan people look to the Koreans with deep, great confidence and impress.

That confidence was increased after the victory of the glorious February 17, 2011 revolution, where Libya's government and people look forward with appreciation and admiration to Korea as a friendly country that provided various of support to the Libyan people coinciding with the Libyan needs and understanding the necessities of the transition period in Libya and contributing to overcoming some of the difficulties faced Libya after the victory of the February 17 revolution, such as management of water resources and electricity in Tripoli implementation of identity of the martyrs and missing persons program, as Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) provided $2.62 million for this program, which is currently running in Libya by a joint task team of Korean ministries of foreign affairs and defense, knowledge-sharing program, and cooperation in human resources development and agricultural development .

Due to depth of the Libyan-Korean relations and the importance of the two countries to each other, Libya has allowed and opened its doors after the victory of the February 17 revolution to all Korean companies to return to Libya to become the first international companies to obtain a license to resume operations in Libya after the collapse of the dictatorial regime.

Currently, there are many major Korean companies managing business in Libya, such as Hyundai, Daewoo, Doosan, LS Cable, Hyundai AMCO and dozens of small and medium-sized enterprises and coinciding with the 3rd anniversary of the glorious February 17 revolution, the Daewoo E&C will open Marriot Hotel in Tripoli as a model for successful Korean investments in Libya.

The Libyan government began in 2013 process of preparing the necessary plans for the reconstruction and development and has allocated large sums of money to carry out reconstruction projects.
In this regard, Libya has called all South Korean companies to participate in the various infrastructure and development projects and share Korea’s development experiences and transfer Korean advanced technology to Libya.

Libya is an important promising market to Korea in the Middle East in the future. Libya also needs to cooperate with Korea in all areas from construction to oil and gas extraction, manufacturing and transfer of advanced technologies. Due to the good reputation of Korea, Libya opens its doors wide to these companies in the field of knowledge-based investment and competitiveness.

After the 17th Feb. revolution, the field of bilateral trade between two countries has witnessed a steady growth, reaching, according to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, 1.829 billion dollars in 2013 including 1.077 billion dollars of Korean exports to Libya, 752 million dollars as Korean imports from Libya compared to 429.744 million in 2011.

The bilateral trade volume between the two countries is expected to expand during the year of 2014 to reach unprecedented levels. In addition, the number of Libyan businessmen coming to Korea has risen, recently, to invest in private companies to export Korean products to Libya, such as vehicles, spare parts, electronics, machinery, sea and farming food, medical equipment and machinery and other.

On the exchange between the two countries after the success of the February 17 Revolution, the first visit to Korea by a Libyan high-level official was by Mr. Muftah Al- Dawadi, Vice Minister of the Ministry of the Affairs Families of Martyrs and Missing Persons during the April 17-24, 2012 Revolution as he discussed ways for cooperation between Korea and Libya in the identification of the remains of the missing persons.

That visit was followed by the visit of Mr. Ashour bin Khayal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Libya, to the Republic of Korea during June 2-6, 2012, who met with Mr. Kim Hwang-shik, the Prime Minister of Korea and his counterpart Mr. Kim Sung-Hwan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs alongside the Ministers of Land, Education and Health of Korea.

Outcome of the visit included Korea's pledge to support the democratic transition in Libya and play an active role in the rebuilding of Libya through knowledge-sharing program (KSP), search for the remains of the missing persons and holding of the next meeting of the joint Korean-Libyan Committee in Seoul as soon as possible to further strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.

Libya, also, has raised the level of its diplomatic representation in Korea from Economic Cooperation Bureau to the Embassy in July 2012 and two sides agreed on the participation of Korean companies in the reconstruction of Libya and strengthening of ties in the healthcare sector.
In this context, vice Minister of Finance of Libya visited Korea on 17 October 2012 heading a delegation for participation in the Korean-African Forum.

From the Korea side, there have been several visits by delegations of economic, trade and health and defense to Libya during 2012. In addition, the forum of Environmental Cooperation between Libya and Korea took place in Tripoli in June 2013 participated in by many of the government institutions and companies of the two countries. The forum was an opportunity to develop a networking between Korea and Libya for more productive cooperation not only in the environment sector but also to emphasize the importance of sharing the values of economic development and democracy creating better cooperation.

As part of finding ways to strengthen cooperation between Korea and Libya in all sectors, particularly in the information technology, economy, health, construction, defense, and others, the year of 2013 witnessed more visits and exchanges of delegations of the government and the private sector of the two countries.

Great view of the desert in Libya

From the Libyan side, the economic delegation of the National General Congress visited Korea in January 2013. Besides that, Mr. Khalid Sharif, undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense of Libya, visited Seoul in October 2013 to participate in the 2013 Seoul Air and Space Exhibition, and discussed with Korean officials ways of increasing cooperation in the field of defense.

Also in December 2013, Mr. Ali Gadoor, Minister of Affairs Families of Martyrs and Missing Persons of Libya visited Korea in the framework of cooperation and coordination between the two countries in a program for identification of the remains of the missing persons.

Korea was also visited by Engineer Mahmoud Ajaj, head of the Housing Authority of Libya, and delegation of Misrata Free Zone and the last visit was made by Libyan officials to Korea carried out by Mr. Abdullah Hussein, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health of Libya on 23-28 December, 2013, aiming to strengthen cooperation in the health and medical sectors between the two countries.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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