Korean exports to Libya tumbled 87.9 percent in the first seven months of this year due to the civil war that has paralyzed the North African country, a report showed Tuesday.
The report by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said outbound shipments to Libya reached just $119 million in the January-July period, compared with $1.41 billion a year earlier.
Libya has been in a state of civil war since February when the general populace started to call for the end of Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year rule.
Exports in February reached just $21 million, down 71.6 percent from the year before and much smaller than the $74 million worth of products shipped out the month before.
The association, however, said that with rebel forces taking control of the entire country, South Korean companies are preparing to ship out more products to meet a possible rise in demand.
"Companies are keeping tabs on latest developments and expect exports of medical supplies, food products and construction equipment to go up once calm is restored," KITA said.
Echoing this view, the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said that Libya could become a huge market for construction companies after the current unrest is settled.
"The market could be as large as $120 billion since there is a need to repair oil refineries, electric power lines, houses, ports and roads," it said. "Libya may build three or four new cities."
In the past, South Korean builders had won roughly a third of all construction projects in the country. (Yonhap)