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Libya

Libya

Libya is the only Mediterranean country - with the exception of Syria – that has not yet concluded a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. Trade relations between the European Union and Libya have so far taken place outside a bilateral legal framework governing bilateral relations.

Libya is also not a WTO member. Negotiations for Libya's accession to the WTO started in 2004. The negotiation for the Framework Agreement on trade between the EU and Libya, which started in 2008, would have paved the way for Libyan WTO accession. However negotiations were suspended in February 2011. Resumption of bilateral negotiations with Libya still remains as an option. However, the political transition in Libya is stalled with an increased level of violence. The lack of political settlement is preventing for the time being any trade discussion with this country.

Trade picture

  • EU imports from Libya are dominated by mineral fuels (€4,5 billion, 93,5%), in particular petroleum and petroleum products. Total EU imports form Libya amounted to €4,9 billion in 2016.
  • EU exports to Libya consist mainly of agricultural products and food (€1,0 billion 30,1%), mineral fuels (€0,9 billion, 27,6%), and machinery and transport equipment (€0,6 billion, 17,3%). Total EU exports to Libya amounted to €3,4 billion in 2016.
  • In 2010, before the Arab Spring and the popular uprising in Libya, the EU was an important trading partner for Libya accounting for 70% of the country's total trade, which amounted to approximately €36.3 billion in 2010. However, between 2012 and 2016 EU imports from Libya decreased by 85% (€32,8 billion in 2012, € 4,9 billion in 2016).
  • Despite this decrease Libya continues to be a fundamental energy exporter to the EU, and the EU continues to be the first trading partner of Libya, accounting for 53,8% of the country's global trade in 2015.

EU-Libya: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 12.5 5.3 -7.2
2015 7.5 4.2 -3.4
2016 4.9 3.4 -1.4

EU-Libya: Trade in services

Trade in services 2013-2015, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2013 0.5 0.9 0.3
2014 0.5 0.8 0.3
2015 0.3 0.6 0.3

EU-Libya: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2015, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2015 1.5 5.7 4.2

Date of retrieval: 15/02/2017

More statistics on Libya

Libya in Euromed

Libya has an observer status in the Euromed partnership.

Euromed is one of the key initiatives of the European Neighbourhood Policy, through which the EU offers its neighbours a privileged relationship, building upon a mutual commitment to common values (including democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development).

Euromed is an essential component in the pursuit of greater economic integration in the Mediterranean region, including among Mediterranean partners themselves.

More information on the Euro-Mediterranean partnership

Trading with Libya