Egypt Announces Plans to Enhance Trade with Libya


Aiming to strengthen commercial ties with Libya, Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, announced a significant upgrade for the Sallum land crossing. This development is viewed as a pivotal move that underscores Egypt’s commitment to enhancing trade relations with Libya

During his visit to Marsa Matrouh, El-Sisi detailed plans to establish a dedicated logistical zone near the Sallum crossing, covering an area of 250-300 acres. This area is intended to specifically aid commerce between Egypt and Libya, a nod towards the importance of the bilateral trade relationship.

Highlighting the ongoing efforts, El-Sisi said, “Our focus on the Sallum port’s enhancement over the past four years is a testament to our intent. The development ensures that our interface with our Libyan partners is not only efficient, but also modern and dignified.” He further emphasised the transformative projects already in place, which are set to provide a major boost to the region.

Libyan traders and travellers have previously expressed concerns over the conditions at the Sallum land port. With an echoing sentiment, Suleiman Al-Harari, Head of the Internal Affairs Committee in Libya’s Parliament, called for an intensified collaboration with Egypt to ensure improved facilities and attention to the concerns of Libyan nationals.

On 11 April, the Libyan-Egyptian Joint Chamber of Commerce highlighted the congestion of cargo-laden trucks at the border, appealing to officials at both the Sallum and Emsaad border points to intervene promptly to mitigate the crisis. However, Egyptian authorities stated that infrastructural projects are underway to simplify procedures, and encourage bilateral trade.

The Sallum land crossing stands as one of the most vital border crossings between Egypt and Libya. Strategically positioned along the Mediterranean coast, this port of entry has historically been a key facilitator for the movement of people, goods, and services between the two North African neighbours.

The importance of the Sallum crossing is rooted in ancient trade routes that connected Africa to the Mediterranean, and beyond. Historically, it served as a key node for trans-Saharan caravans, linking North Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Beyond trade, the crossing is also a vital link for families and communities that live on both sides of the border, facilitating cultural exchanges and family reunions.