In 2020 the Libyan government signed economic and trade agreements with Turkey. This partnership aims to revive 184 stagnant construction projects in Libya, worth some $16bn.

Libya’s minister of planning has emphasised Turkey’s significant involvement in national projects and highlighted that Turkey’s infrastructure initiatives constitute around 20% of all projects contracted between 2008 and 2012, establishing the country as a top economic partner. The agreement has enabled Turkish companies to return to Libya and resume a substantial share of delayed projects, amounting to more than $28bn in value, facilitating the execution of dormant projects and establishing guidelines for successful collaboration between parties.

The revival of Turkish projects aligns with Libya’s ongoing efforts to strengthen infrastructure development and accelerate the country’s overall progress. As of 2019 Turkey’s exports to Libya amounted to $2bn, a 29% increase compared to 2018. In 2013, prior to the renewed outbreak of conflict in Libya, Turkish exports reached $2.7bn.

Over the course of two decades Libya’s exports to Russia have steadily declined at an annualised rate of 12%, dropping from $5960 in 2002 to $522 in 2021. In contrast, Russia’s exports to Libya reached $332m in 2021, with essential products including barley ($123m), wheat ($108m) and refined petroleum ($48m). Moreover, Russia’s exports to Libya have consistently followed an upward trajectory, with an annualised growth rate of 56.3% between 2002 and 2021, increasing from $68,400 to $332 million. Additionally, in 2020 Russia exported services valued at $358,000 to Libya, with the largest categories being other business services ($161,000), transport ($95,000) and communications services ($54,000).

In May 2023 Libya’s National Oil Corporation and Russia’s Tatneft jointly announced a significant oil discovery in the Ghadames basin, located 330 km south of Tripoli. Tatneft’s finding strengthens Russia’s substantial interests in Libya’s oil sector. Despite facing disruptions in 2011, Russian oil companies have maintained a presence in Libya. The civil conflict from 2014 to 2020 presented additional challenges for these energy players; however, Tatneft resumed operations in October 2021 following multiple suspensions. Similarly, Russia-based gas giant Gazprom recommenced operations in Libya in May 2021 after halting them in the aftermath of the 2011 conflict.

While Libya’s exports to Russia have declined recently, Russia has emerged as a significant exporter to Libya in the agriculture, petroleum and services sectors. Following Tatneft’s recent oil discovery, Russia is anticipated to continue to play a key role in Libya’s oil and gas industry.