Samawat GmbH is specialized in export and shipping freight to Libya. The Bremen-based company is very familiar with the logistics and infrastructure on site. These are important factors for successful trade with the North African country.
Tamim Fannoush is a true cheerful nature - the Libyan always has a smile on his lips and greets his counterpart with overwhelming friendliness. Is it perhaps because he lives in his favorite city? "Bremen is the best place to live, I love the city. It's so quiet, the banks of the river Weser are beautiful - I feel welcome here," Fannoush says happily. He has been living in the Hanseatic city for almost a year now, and has made many friends here in addition to business contacts.
From here, he runs Samawat GmbH, which already has two employees today with its founding date in February 2019. The company is specialized in logistics business to Libya. In addition to the Bremen company, founder Fannoush also runs Samawat Maritime LLC in the Libyan capital Tripoli - the company focuses on the import of container and project cargo and employs 12 people there.
Libyan economy: Between growth and unrest
Although Libya is five times as large as Germany, only 6.5 million people live there. As the country with the largest oil reserves in Africa, the energy industry is the most important economic sector. The internal unrest caused by the prolonged civil war has had a strong impact on economic growth in recent years. While the country grew by more than 15 percent in 2018, in 2019 it was only just over two percent. In the future, however, forecasts predict renewed strong growth, in which the recently negotiated ceasefire between the conflicting parties could play a role.
Fannoush hopes that trade will then also increase again. "The situation is calming down. Many interrupted projects are being resumed. The oil industry has a great need for imported goods such as valves, transformers or tools. But we are also active in the areas of power supply, telecommunications and - surprisingly - pet food," says Fannoush.
Knowing the local situation to be successful in Libya exports
Samawat sees itself as a specialist for logistics business in the North African country. "Many European companies make the mistake of not dealing with the conditions on site. This can lead to considerable delays and additional costs in the project process," he explains.
One example: Anyone who ships freight to Libya usually sends it to one of the two major ports in the country, Tripoli or Bengazi. For onward transport, the port of destination can make a significant difference. "Sometimes roads are impassable because of security issues. Then a cargo can be stuck for days or weeks. We know the situation on site," he explains. Another example: For shipping to Bengazi port, additional measures have to be taken for some specialized goods like fresh foods.