Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been used in a number of different forms to help develop public works or infrastructure projects when funding for them is either limited or unavailable. By implementing PPPfocused policies, the government in Misrata hopes to leverage the expertise, resources and efficiency of the private sector to accelerate infrastructure development, attract investment and drive economic growth, while simultaneously ensuring that such projects are closely aligned with the government’s broader goals.

One particular example of the PPP model was seen during the expansion of the city’s international airport, which acts as a key point of entry for many foreign businesspeople. Due to a lack of funding from the central government, the new 8000-sq-metre terminal that opened in September 2022 was financed by the city government and other local institutions, including private enterprises. This differs from the expansion of Benghazi’s airport, which was funded by a more regimented build-operate-transfer model. The Misrata airport PPP shows the willingness of the local public and private sectors to collaborate on key infrastructure projects that provide mutual economic benefits.

Another key project in Misrata that was financed by a PPP was the sea passenger terminal. Overseen by Libya’s Privatisation and Investment Board, the PPP was atypical in the sense that it was a joint development between the Libyan Iron and Steel Company, which is a governmentowned entity, and Kevalay, a privately owned tourism company. The routes are expected to boost passenger journeys from the port to surrounding countries, notably Turkey, where companies have multiple business interests in Libya, as well as Egypt and Tunisia.

More broadly, these kinds of partnerships have been gaining traction across Libya due to their flexible funding, as well as the fact that they create networks for further collaboration between public and private entities towards common infrastructure goals. In January 2022 the minister of state for economic affairs in cooperation with the Libyan Business Council made four policy recommendations regarding PPPs during a panel discussion. First, determine specific goals that take into consideration the need for improved public services, urban modernisation and economic growth. Second, explore and define the roles of each partner on the project in question. Third, it would be beneficial for PPPs to ensure that market principles are adhered to. Lastly, establish an independent regulatory body supported by the state to oversee and facilitate relations and projects between the public and private sectors.

In addition, in February 2023 Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, the Libyan prime minister, requested the reopening of hotels and tourist villages, as well as private sector investment. This request involved offering tenders for actors across the private sector to participate in developments, providing opportunities for local construction companies in order to bolster such activity in the country and revitalise the tourism sector.