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Algeria, Spain vow new impetus to economic ties

Algeria, Spain vow new impetus to economic ties
May 04
10:21 2018

Economic relations between Algeria and Spain have known, over the past few years, a noticeable development through multisectoral partnerships and enhanced trade, and are due to be given a new boost.

The economic issues dominated the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey to Algeria, as the two nations vowed on Tuesday to give their bilateral trade relations a new impetus

The visit of Mariano concluded by inking eight Memorandums of Understanding for cooperation in the sectors of industry, agricultural insurance, vocational training, higher education and scientific research, post, digital and information technologies and fire-fighting.

The documents were signed on the sidelines of the seventh Algerian-Spanish High-Level Meeting in the capital Algiers, which was co-chaired by Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and his visiting Spanish counterpart.

The meeting was followed by the Algerian-Spanish Business Forum, which was co-chaired by Algerian Minister of Industry and Mines Youcef Yousfi and Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Maria Luisa Poncela.

During the business forum, Ouyahia promised to invite more Spanish operators to enter the Algerian market and invest in non-hydrocarbon sectors.

The business forum was attended by more than 700 Algerian and Spanish economic operators, where they discussed partnership opportunities in the fields of agriculture, aeronautics, banking, metallurgy, industrial machinery, building materials and transport.

“We are satisfied with political relations, cooperation and trade exchange between Algeria and Spain,” Ouyahia said at the inauguration of the forum.

“Yet, the Spanish economic presence and investments in Algeria are still modest,” said Ouyahia.

“Some 500 Spanish firms came to Algeria since 2000, but they returned home as soon as they delivered the projects,” he added.

For his part, Mariano noted that “Algeria is a strategic and reliable partner, given that it ensures 50 percent of Spain’s natural gas needs, and is a major player in the Maghreb and the African Union.”

In 2017, Spain was ranked third largest customer of Algeria with a total of 4.1 billion U.S. dollars, and the fifth largest supplier of the North African nation with 3.1 billion U.S. dollars.

Algerian Industry Minister Youcef Yousfi noted that some 450 Spanish companies are operating in the North African nation.

But he said the bilateral partnership between Spain and Algeria is still below expectations, urging the two governments to develop it further in the future.

For her part, Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Maria Luisa Poncela encouraged Algeria to offer more facilitation to attract more foreign investment, saying it is vital for strengthening Algerian economy.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey arrived in Algiers on Tuesday for a one-day official visit to boost bilateral relations.

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Jide Adesina

Jide Adesina

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