The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Libyan Export Promotion Council (LEPC) on Monday, 18 October 2010 in Tripoli, launched the institution's first project in Libya.
The project, a technical assistance support to the Libyan Export Promotion Center - financed with a USD 746,971 grant from the Bank's Middle Income Country (MIC) Trust Fund, is set up to address critical needs for capacity building, institutional strengthening and private sector development.
"Even in Libya, one of the richest countries in Africa, the Bank is in a position to provide support and has been called upon to contribute to the diversification of the production and export base, growth sustainability and job creation," the AfDB regional Director for north Africa, Jacob Kolster, said at launch hosted by the Libyan Chamber of Commerce.
The project is designed to provide technical assistance to the Libyan Export Promotion Center, which is one of the key players in the country and acts as a catalyst in the country's efforts to diversify its production and export base.
The UA 480.000 (USD 746,971) grant is also part of a broader engagement strategy, based on the Bank's 2009 Country Engagement Note for Libya, which includes technical assistance in a variety of areas, including statistical support and SME development.
The launch was followed by a partnership and cooperation engagement organized by the LEPC between Chadian business people and their Libyan counterparts, attended by over 50 members of private sector, media and public sector institutions.
"The African continent indeed represents an important export and investment market for Libyan firms and we hope that the project will assist us in building stronger linkages with emerging markets like those south of the Sahara," the General Director of the LEPC, Mr. El Mahmoudi, said.
The participants emphasized the importance of AfDB-Libya-Chad trilateral cooperation, and used the opportunity to reach out and explore areas of cooperation with the Bank.