Last updated: March 6, 2020
Libya lies on the southern edge of the Mediterranean and borders Egypt and Sudan to the east, Algeria and Tunisia to the west and Niger and Chad to the south. The country is about five times larger than Germany. The capital Tripoli is located on the Mediterranean coast in the west of the country. The second largest city, Benghazi, forms the center on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Libya. About 6.7 million people live in Libya, including around 800,000 immigrants.
The country is constituted as a parliamentary republic headed by a collegial presidential council in which all three historical regions of Libya (Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica) are represented. Its chairman has been the non-party Fayiz Al-Sarraj since 2015, who is also the internationally recognized prime minister in charge of government. However, his power in the country is limited; Tribes and militias play an important role outside of the greater Tripoli area. In January 2020, at the invitation of the Federal Government in Berlin, the most important actors agreed on the establishment of political and economic unity in Libya and a national reconciliation process.
Libya is only one of four Arab countries with which Germany has a foreign trade deficit. In 2019, German imports from Libya exceeded exports by around 3.49 billion euros – and the trend is rising. They consisted almost exclusively of petroleum, whereas food and machinery make up more than half of German exports.
The oil and gas industry dominates the Libyan economy. Libya has the ninth largest proven oil reserves in the world. Structural deficiencies, however, still weigh on sustainable growth. In order to diversify the economy, the renewable energies sector is being expanded. Attractive areas of investment exist in this area as well as in the area of water and wastewater technology to secure the drinking water demand in the densely populated coastal regions and to protect against pollution of the sea and groundwater.