GDP (US$ Billion)

39.83 (2019)

World Ranking 94/194

GDP Per Capita (US$)

6,055 (2019)

World Ranking 96/193

Economic Structure

(in terms of GDP composition, Nil)


External Trade (% of GDP)

118.3 (2019)

Currency (Period Average)

Libyan Dinar

1.4per US$ (2019)

Political System

In transition*

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Encyclopædia Britannica, IMF, Pew Research Center, United Nations, World Bank

  • Located in the northern part of Africa, Libya is the fourth largest in size among all African countries. The country has the longest coastline that stretches along the Mediterranean Sea with Sahara Desert as its most prominent natural feature. Most of the population is concentrated along the coast, where its capital Tripoli is located.
  • The Libyan economy is mostly dependent on the oil and gas industry, which represents about 70% of the total exports and about 60% of the country’s GDP. A small population, backed by substantial revenues from the energy sector, has made Libya one of the highest GDP per capita countries in Africa.
  • Libya, with largest crude reserves in Africa, is one of the member countries under the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC reached a production cut deal with Russia and other allies, and committed to reduce oil output by about 1.17 million barrels a day from the beginning of 2020. Libya is one of the countries that are exempted from the cut deal, in addition to Iran and Venezuela.
  • Libya is a member of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). It has also entered the Agreement on Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP) in 1988, with the aim to promote intra-developing-country trade. To date, 42 countries have entered into the Agreement, including seven least developed countries (Bangladesh, Benin, Guinea, Mozambique, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania).
  • EU is the largest export market for Libya, which accounted for more than half of the country’s exports, yet it is the only Mediterranean country besides Syria that has not yet concluded a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. Libya is still not a member of World Trade Organization (WTO) although it has started negotiation with on its membership since 2004.
  • In early 2011, the uprising against Muammar al-Gaddafi, Arab’s world longest ruling leader, has turned Libyan Revolution into a civil war. Following that, the country entered into the state of transition without a strong centralized authority and the last couple years has been characterized by instability and brutal conflict in the country. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there is an estimated 0.8 million people in Libya that in need of humanitarian assistance which basic needs such as drinking water, shelter and health care are of limited access.
  • Libya provides free education, which is compulsory starting from the age of six, resulting in the highest literacy rate (91% for those aged 15 years or above) among North African countries. Yet, the endless cycle of social unrest and lack of funding has hindered the progress of education in the country as many schools have been destroyed or stopped operating.
  • Since 2011, the UN Security Council established individual targeted sanctions and an open-ended arms embargo on the supply of arms and military equipment to and from Libya. In January this year, world leaders from the EU, Russia and Turkey reached agreement on a stricter enforcement of UN arms embargo in an effort to end Libya’s long-running conflict.
  • In July 2018, Libya signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China for its participation in the Belt and Road Initiative to further develop the bilateral relationships in various fields and attract Chinese investments.
  • According to UNCTAD data, cumulative FDI stock in Libya amounted US$18.5 billion in 2018. China’s outward FDI in Libya reached US$426 million in 2018. 

Hong Kong’s Trade with Libya

(US$ million)





Growth (%)


Growth (%)


Growth (%)

Total exports







Domestic exports





















Total trade







- Nil
= Infinity
* Insignificant
..Over 1,000% Increase
Source: Hong Kong Trade Statistics, Census & Statistics Department

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