Over the last few years, there has been a clear evolution of the Algerian market towards a more stable political and financial situation. This has made the country far more attractive for foreign trade and inward investment. Amongst the factors making the country a priority for Spanish economical and political interests are: the great importance of Algeria as a provider of strategic petroleum products – above all, natural gas; it’s very large size in the Mediterranean basin; and the slow but sure economic liberalisation of the market.
Two important considerations that are worthy of attention are the fact that Algeria has very scarce water resources and that domestic agriculture (only 4% of GDP) barely covers 50% of the growing population’s needs. In fact almost all sectors offer great opportunities for business as most of them are very underdeveloped compared to Europe and worthy of especial attention are: agriculture; fishing; commerce and industry.
In order to reduce exposure to fluctuating prices for fossil fuels and unreliable harvests, the Algerian government is rolling out a plan to modernise the economy and promote diversification across the board.
The policy is being carried out by concentrated promotion of and investment in specific sectors and industries.
Infrastructures and the construction of housing units are a priority for the government. This includes a 5-year plan (2010-2014) which was approved in 2010 and provides for investments totalling € 212, 000 m for the construction of housing and infrastructure:
- Housing: construction of 2 million units.
- Water, Sanitation and Natural Gas 2 million homes to be connected to the grid.
- Water Projects 25 transfer systems
- Electrical Generation Roads and Ports
- Sports Facilities 80 stadia and multi-purpose facilities as well as 400 swimming pools
- Other Social Facilities (200 youth hostels)
- As well as Land Management, rural agricultural development and support for SMEs.
However, and independently of the Plan, there are many opportunities in a number of industries amongst which we can highlight mining (a number of concessions have been granted to overseas companies), pharmaceuticals, the supply of machinery and materials for fishing, agriculture and construction. Opportunities can also be identified in services for commerce and others, for example there are a number of initiatives to modernise slaughterhouses and refrigerated warehouses that will guarantee the cold chain in the food industry.
The frenetic activity in the construction industry represents an excellent sector in which to identify opportunities (materials for construction, rolling stock for railways, inputs for hos¡using and hospitals, etc). Other areas for study would be food processing, electronics and energy.
Thus there are many opportunities on the table which make Algeria an attractive proposition for Catalan firms. We at International Team Consulting are experts in this market and can provide the tools to find the best channels for your company and products, whether this be an agent or distributor.
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