Libya, Tunisia sign agree to joint economic zone at Ras Jdir border crossing

Libya, Tunisia sign agree to joint economic zone at Ras Jdir border crossing
Libya and Tunisia signed a free trade deal on Wednesday amid economic recession and instability in both countries.
2 min read
17 November, 2022
The coastal border town of Ras Jdir is Libya's northern most point [Getty/archive]

The economy minister in Libya’s disputed 'Government of National Unity', Muhammad al-Huwayj, signed on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding with his Tunisian counterpart, Fadila Ben Hamza, to establish a free economic zone at a border crossing.

The economic zone will be at the coastal Ras Jdir crossing between the two North African countries, which is also Libya's most northerly point.

The agreement includes lifting restrictions on the movement of citizens of the two countries, in addition to cooperation and trade exchange, facilitating procedures for the entry of goods of foreign origin into Libya through Tunisian ports, and twinning between the competition councils in the two countries.

This agreement also aims to develop a plan for food and drug security, increase cooperation and provide facilities for companies and businessmen, according to a statement.


A maritime line to transport passengers and goods between Libyan and Tunisian ports was previously announced, expected to open at the end of this year.

Libya is one of Tunisia’s closest trading partners, as it represents the most important export market for Tunisian agricultural products, accounting for about 60% of all produce exported.

While Libya has been battered by instability and conflict since 2011, Tunisians are facing food and fuel shortages due to a worsening financial crisis.

War-torn Libya sent its much smaller neighbour a shipment of fuel aid last week estimated at 30,000 tons to help it with these shortages.

Repeated border closures during the Covid-19 pandemic also worsened the situation in Tunisia, where the economy relies heavily on tourism.