Benghazi authorities affiliated with Khalifa Haftar are reactivating seven free zone projects in the hope of attracting investment to Cyrenaica, French website Africa Intelligence said on Friday.
The website said the projects are planned to take place in Bamba Gulf between Tobruk and Derna, originally planned by by the government of Abdullah Al-Thinni in 2015. The projects have now been relaunched by the Military Investment Authority.
In order to carry out these projects, Benghazi authorities are looking for foreign partners. For the free zone of Bamba, French companies have been approached, but without a contract at the moment.
“For the moment, the main free zone in eastern Libya is the Elmreisa Free Zone, located on the outskirts of Benghazi. In addition to the desire to compete with that of western Libya, the large Misrata Free Zone (MFZ), whose deep-water port gives the city of Misrata considerable political weight, the construction of free zones would make it possible to discreetly shelter the more or less legal businesses that have flourished in Libya (cigarettes, contraband, narcotics, etc.), sometimes under the protection of the Haftar clan or militia leaders.” The website added.