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Algeria, Spain to initiate qualitative leap in economic relations

October 11, 2020

The Algerian and Spanish economic operators participating, Thursday in Algiers, at the Algerian-Spanish Business Forum expressed their desire to initiate a qualitative leap in trade and investment relations between the two countries, highlighting the rich partnership opportunities, despite the difficulties imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

In this regard, the president of the Confederation of Algerian Industrialists and Producers (CIPA), Abdelwahab Ziani affirmed that Algeria, offering itself as the gateway to Africa, would constitute “the best partner” for Spain.

The hydrocarbons sector is considered so far the backbone of economic cooperation between the two parties, he recalled, assuring that this cooperation should now be sustainable and based on a long-term vision, through the implementation of partnership projects in terms of industrialization and local development of production activities.

For his part, the president of the Club of entrepreneurs and industrialists of Mitidja (CEIMI), Kamel Moula stressed the importance of going beyond the commercial aspect in the economic relationship between the two parties, in this meaning that “we should not consider Algeria as a simple consumer market but a true partner and work within the framework of mutually beneficial cooperation”.

Also present at the forum, the president of the Algerian Confederation of Citizen Employers (CAPC), Mohamed Sami Agli emphasized the importance of the stability that reigns in Algeria and the incentives recently incorporated into the regulatory framework.

In this sense, he pleaded for the relaunch of the Algerian-Spanish Business Council, created in 2018 and likely to bring together operators in their country and boost them towards the realization of projects in the field.

Speaking to the work of the forum, the president of the National Union of Public Contractors (UNEP), Lakhdar Rekhroukh spoke of the appropriate climate and the conditions necessary for the revival of the construction sector and public works offered in Algeria, inviting companies in Spain to take part in it through investments in construction materials and infrastructure and housing projects.

Investors will also be able to take advantage of the many job opportunities offered on the national market, especially in the field of solar energy and agriculture for which the Spaniards have the required experience, he stressed.

The Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and representatives of large economic companies in Algeria in the public and private sectors, gave presentations on their activities and planned projects, as well as on possible partnership opportunities with Spain.

These are the heads of the Group of metallurgical and steel industries Algeria (IMETAL), the Elec El Djazair Group, the Agro-Industrial Group AGRODIV and the Cement and construction materials group “les Frères Souakri”.

For his part, the President of the Spanish Confederation of Businesses (CEOE), Antonio Garamendi welcomed the speeches made by the two Governments, describing the forum as an important opportunity, particularly in view of the current economic situation in different countries of the world.

Believing that cooperation between Spanish and Algerian companies is able to play an important role in the economic recovery of the two countries, the CEOE president called for intensifying efforts to diversify investment projects in Algeria whose volume amounted, in 2018, to more than 318 million euros.

The representative of the Spanish energy company Repsol, Javier Abejon Arrate, reiterated his company’s commitment to continue the development of the energy partnership in Algeria, recalling its “strong” presence in the country, in particular through five fields in partnership with Sonatrach .

In the finance sector, the two representatives of the banks “Banco de Sabadell” and “CaixaBank”, have assured the interest of their respective banks in operating in Algeria which represents a very promising market, they added.

It should be recalled that more than 550 Algerian-Spanish mixed companies operate in Algeria, according to figures provided by the commercial attaché of the Spanish Embassy in Algeria, Victoria Laso de la Vega.

In 2019, the volume of trade between Algeria and Spain amounted to nearly 7 billion USD, including 3 billion USD of Algerian exports consisting mainly of hydrocarbons.