“Making Sense of Italy’s Renewed Economic Diplomacy Towards Libya”, Dario Cristiani and Silvia Colombo (IAI, Italy)

Rome is seeking to revive its economic complementary with Libya, which is seen as the most effective card that Italy can play to regain some influence in the country. Italian companies are particularly familiar with the Libyan business environment, a familiarity built over decades of close co-operation and investments. On the Libyan side, Dbaiba is particularly interested in relaunching exports and commercial relations to revive its economy damaged by years of war, oil blockades and institutional divisions. Economic challenges remain particularly daunting as demonstrated by the fact that the economic track of the Berlin process has completely stalled. Getting the economy back on track is also essential for the survival of the current interim government and for the ambitions of many of its current members. Despite the promise not to run for the upcoming elections, many have made it crystal-clear that they intend to be part of the formal political landscape beyond the upcoming electoral appointment in December.

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