Partnership in FDI: The new Algerian foreign direct investment framework provides more flexibility to investors
The Algerian Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates (ABCD) held a seminar in Dubai on 14 October 2015 to explore investment opportunities in Algeria. “Investing In Transports and Logistics in Algeria: Opportunities and Challenges” was the topic of a one day seminar that draw an important crowd of investors and business leaders interested in developing business and trade relations in the Algerian sector of transport, logistics, and port management platforms. Organized in collaboration with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the seminar was an opportunity to help investors and participants learn about the new five-year development plan 2015-2019 approved recently by the Algerian government to boost public investment in key economic sectors. This plan, which devotes more than forty billion dollars to the transport and logistics sector, subscribes to the larger vision of the Algerian government to improve economic performance, modernize infrastructure and build a long term diversified and sustainable economy. “The goal of my trip to Dubai is to attend the seminar organized by the Algerian Business Council and to meet investors from the UAE and elsewhere to convey to them the commitment of our Ministry of Transport to foreign direct investment. Our vision is to increase foreign direct investment in the new government plan 2015-2018, particularly in the maritime sub-sector. My mission, during this trip, is to convince our colleagues and friends in the UAE interested in Algeria, to invest through the new partnership framework in which they will find the Algerian CEOs’ Forum (F.C.E) a great partner” said His Excellency Abdelaziz Guerrah, Chairman and CEO of the Algiers Port Authority and representative of the Algerian Minister of Transport.
Among other projects open to foreign direct investment, according to Mr. Abdelhak Attallah, a Dubai based Maritime and Trade Lawyer and a member of London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), are a new Central Trade Port located west of Algiers and estimated atUSD 2 billion, the expansion of Oran containers terminal estimated atUSD 500 million and expected to be finalized in December 1st, 2016, and a USD 200 million public investment program to equip various ports in Algeria with a new system for exchange of information. This portal is a trade facilitation entity that will offer integrated electronic services from various trade and logistics service providers under a single window.
Furthermore and in addition to the discussion of these and other projects, the seminar was also an opportunity to showcase and highlight the experience of major foreign investors in the transport and logistics sector. DP World, which has been operating in Algeria for more than a decade, has been engaged in major investments to build and develop infrastructure, manage ports and transfer technology in Algeria, and will share best practices on how to build long term partnerships.
Important to mention that the Algerian Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates, which was accredited by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in March 2015, was created by a group of Algerian business leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals and academics to encourage economic and business relations between Algeria and the UAE. The mission of the Algerian Business Council is to create a business environment in which free trade and investment flourishes between the United Arab Emirates and Algeria, while at the same time, assist and coach companies from both countries in their market entry strategies. “For us the Council is new tool that is meant to strengthen trade and investment relations between the UAE and Algeria; it is a milestone achievement in the building of a stronger economic bilateral relations between Algeria and the UAE” said Engineer Noubli Salah Eddine, CEO of Equimet, a Dubai based company that specializes in Oil & Gas and Chairman of the Board of Director of the ABCD.
To achieve its objectives, the Council approved in June 2015, a strategic plan that includes, among other actions, the organization of trade missions, and participation in expositions and seminars in both countries. “We have designed an actionable program that will help us boost business relations between the two countries to take them to the next level; we focus on sectors in which our founding members have expertise and insights that can add a great value to both countries. Such sectors, are transport and logistics, ePayment services, IT infrastructure, banking, and higher education” said Mr. Amine Staali, CEO of SynergyBI, a Dubai based company that focuses on Big Data & predictive Analytics and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ABCD.
The seminar concluded with a tour to Jebel Ali Port to help delegates learn about the latest technology in logistics and port management platforms. A dinner hosted by HE Mr. Abdel Karim Belouassa was organized in honor of Algerian delegates who traveled from Algeria to attend the seminar.