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Libya Free Zones

Free Zones

Introduction

Free zones are areas excluded from the domain of the custom authorities and enjoy the full freedom for the in and out flow of goods and commodities. They play an active role in trading between countries and offer advantages and incentives to firms and individuals to engage in investments. Free zones lead to good economic return, contribute to the establishment of great economic areas and facilitate international trade in a developed investment environment.
 
Internationally, free zones are areas indicated and organized by law to host industrial, commercial operations, goods exchange and services providing transactions.
 
These are declared to all those interested in investing therein or utilizing as such for sustaining and accomplishing the prospects of the free zones and stimulating the national economy.
 
Taking advantage of the superb location of Libya and for the purpose of diversifying the national revenue sources and expanding the economy base, as well as refreshing the national economy, Misurata Free Zone (MFZ) has been founded. It is a contributing factor to Libya's rapid economic development. This long run vision is expected to be achieved through employing, using and exploiting the available national resources, and by attracting foreign capital and investment.

The free zone in Misurata

To regulate transit trading in Libya, law (9/2000) was issued. Recognizing the importance of this sector by the Government, the first free zone was established in Misurata by General People's Committee's resolution numbered (495 \2000), and amended by General People's Committee's resolution numbered (32\2006). MFZ occupies an area of 3500 hectares with a capability of expansion up to 20000 hectares. This includes a seaport that holds many advantages.

Why the free zone in MISURATA?

Strategic geographic location gives Misurata ready access to international waters;
The city's renowned history and reputation for various trade exchange activities;
Provision of a large land area, which are ideal for investments;
Vast pool of manpower at all levels of skills and various domains;
Huge fleet of land transport facilities with reasonable costs;
Reliable Infrastructure;
Suitable environment for different fields of investment whether commercial, industrial, services, tourism or others;
An eleven meter deep seaport;
An airport of 20 Kms. distance from MFZ site; and
Availability and feasibility of raw material and energy resources: the steel complex is an example.

Geographical Location:

Libya is blessed with an excellent location as it overlooks the Mediterranean sea through a 1800 Km. long shore North, which connects it with southern European countries and the rest of the world. Having its location in the mid-African North between longitude 25.9 degrees East and latitude 33.19 degrees North, Libya has been a convenient link between the Eastern and Western Arab states.
 
In addition, Libyan territories extend to more than 1200 Km. South which has connected the country historically with other African countries.
 
Misurata city in particular has a superb strategic location on the northern Libyan coast, 210 Km east of Tripoli. This makes Misurata the place of a successful investment environment in all fields.

Objectives &Targets:

To transfer and accommodate knowledge and technology in a way that refreshes the national economy;
To provide competitive and attractive environment for investment;
To generate job and training opportunities for local labor;
To make investing revenue for MFZ and its accommodating establishments;
To balance the mutual interest for the national economy and the investor;
To create gateway for local investors to enter the international market and, in cooperation with foreign investors, to develop export-oriented industries and services.

Fields of investment and economic activities in MFZ:

Constructing establishments and facilities needed for industrial, commercial, and service-providing activities;
Carrying out transit trade activities;
Performing industrial and other different transforming operations which may change, modify and/or prepare goods and products to meet trade exchange and market demand;
Conducting manufacturing operations such as mixing, cleansing, wrapping, adding, refilling and repacking;
Providing insurance, banking and financial services and any other logistics needed for investment at MFZ;
Supplying oil and gas fields with logistic support;
Engaging in tourism- and service-oriented activities; and/or
Storing goods: which include transit goods, products ready for export, and goods imported and/or manufactured by MFZ.

Incentives and benefits for investors:

Exemption from registration requirements in trade, import, and export registry;
Exemption from custom duties, taxation and other charges and/or applicable fees;
Exemption from any restrictions or censorship formalities except those may relate to ethics, moralities, security, and health and environment aspect;
All stocks and shares, financial exchanges, money transfers are exempted from taxes, additional charges and fees;
The possibility of transferring the ownership, totally or partially, of (a) project (s) from one investor to another;
Projects in the Free zone can not and may not be nationalized, dispossessed expropriated, confiscated, frozen or subjected to any of the previously mentioned unless permitted by law and under just compensation; and
Money and transit goods can not be retained or frozen unless by law executable in Libya.
Water and Power Prices are in the applicable local Price.

Services at investors' disposal:

One of MFZ objectives is to meet the investors' needs by facilitating business activity and providing a pro-business milieu that places a premium on providing opportunity for foreign investment. Our climate has been specifically designed to welcome foreign business and investments, encourage production, provide incentive for trade and promote industrial activity. No effort is spared to facilitate cooperation with foreign firms and investors. The following are some of the services and facilities we provide.

Land areas of different sizes to suit investors' needs;
Fully equipped offices, indoor and outdoor storage rooms and spaces.
Utility services with reasonable costs;
Sufficiently developed Infrastructure;
Technical support by skillful technicians in different fields;
Shipping and sea transport services;
Inland transport facilities to trans-desert Africa and neighboring Arabic countries.
Health insurance for investors in MFZ;
An international seaport fully equipped with sophisticated handling and transferring equipment and machines;
Legal and other consulting services;
All different types of insurance services; and
Various modern financial and banking services, according to investors' needs.

MFZ Seaport:

Misurata Seaport was used long time ago as a natural harbor by the ancient Phoenicians on the west coast of Libya and it has played an important role in trading ever since the 10th centuryB.C. As a seaport, it was reestablished in 1978, according to an innovative plan, taking into account the most recent means in constructing seaports, and presenting international maritime services in a way that contributes greatly in increasing the transit trade operations. MFZ port is classified as one of the major seaports in Libya, and it has become a destination to many international maritime lines. The following points highlight some of the major advantages this seaport holds:

Area of 300 hectares;
Eleven meter depth;
Quays length: 3550 meters;
Capacity of six million ton/year;
290 hectares open storage yards;
67,500 square meters storage facilities;
40,000 tons Grain Silo;
Modern handling equipment and machinery; and
Well trained technical staff.

The seaport developing and expansion plans:

The seaport of the free zone enjoys many advantages. One of them is its strategic location which links the African continent with international market forces and maintains relations with the other world economy. Since the starting of the MFZ activities, the demand on its services has remarkably accelerated, and, accordingly, placing it as the main centre for the transit trade in the Mediterranean area has been given a particular priority. Therefore, the expanding and developing plans have started to be implemented.
 
These implementations are anticipated to be accomplished by the year (2009). The plans include, but not restricted to:

Expanding the current quays length by 600 meter and 16 meter depth;
Constructing new quays of 2400 Meters as a first stage and additional 1800 meters as a second stage with depth of 18 meters;
Adding 60 hectares of supplementary open storage areas; and
Providing quays with modern equipment, systems and machinery for cargos and containers handling.

Distance between MFZ and Libya's major cities (In Km.)

Distance between MFZ and boarders of neighboring countries (In Km.)

 

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