Libyan economic talks kick off in Geneva

The meeting covered banking reform, currency exchange rate and the urgency of reestablishing transparency

Representative Williams reiterated once more that time is not on the side of the Libyan people and that change needs to happen soon. [Photo: UNSMIL]
The technical meeting on critical reform to the Libyan economy kicked off yesterday in Geneva to discuss currency reform, the banking crisis, the unification of the national budget, including a time table to implement these reforms.

In a statement issued by the UNSMIL, the meeting took place within the context of several promising developments, including the full resumption of Libyan oil production, with revenues being withheld pending further progress towards a more durable and transparent economic arrangement with the central bank.

The statement noted that the UNSMIL continues to facilitate the international audit review of both branches of the Central Bank of Libya, stressing that it is a vital process to ease the reunification of the Central Bank and to fully re-establish national accountability mechanisms.

Participants also welcomed the decision by the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Libya to this week convene a board meeting that is expected to tackle unification of the exchange rate.

“I sincerely hope that in the next two days an agreement can be reached on concrete objectives on the issues of currency reform, the check clearing crisis, the overall banking crisis, and budget unification as well as on a clear timetable for actions to be taken to implement these reforms,” Representative Williams said addressing the meeting and reiterated that, “Time is not on your side. We need to move quickly and decisively, and I count on you to take these important steps in the coming two days.”

The meeting was co-presided by Egypt, the United States, and the European Union, as co-chairs of the Economic Working Group on Libya of the Berlin Process, and attended by the World Bank, and brought together representatives of both branches of the Central Bank of Libya, of the Ministry of Finance, Audit Bureau, and of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), as well as members of the Libyan Experts Economic Commission.

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