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Algeria is a stable country politically. President Bouteflika was re-elected in 2014 for a further five years. It is the biggest country by area in Africa with a population of 38 million. Algeria is political and social stable and has a young population (an estimated 70% are under 30).
Challenges doing business in Algeria
Historically Algeria has been seen as a challenging market to enter. However, hurdles are often similar to those experienced elsewhere.:
- bureaucracy inherited from a history of francophone and eastern bloc influences
- the 51/49 investment law
- the ongoing process to join the World Trade Organization (WTO)
- some corruption, however, scores fairly well on the corruption index
Algeria has no foreign debt and an estimated USD 185 billion in reserves. Economic growth averages about 3-4%.
The Algerian government publishes tenders on the Baosem website. The National Agency of Investment Development lists current projects and contact details.
The government announced long-term energy plans, which includes a Renewable Energy Strategy with an investment of USD 100 billion by 2030. It should produce one third of all domestic energy from renewable sources.
There are many opportunities for companies in many areas, including:
oil and gas
The government has announced a USD 262 billion 5 year infrastructure programme which will see state resources devoted to new builds and at least 80 new projects offering partnerships.
The government has embarked on a programme of new hospitals. 5 have already been commissioned and a further 5 are expected to follow soon with an accompanying cancer strategy management plan.
There are also opportunities for companies with the refurbishment of current facilities.
Education and training
The English language is a primary focus for the Algerian government. English language training for is in regular demand from companies and this provides excellent opportunities for companies in English-speaking countries.
Algeria has a vast agricultural sector. Investment in agriculture is one of the 4 pillars of the USD 262 billion ‘Five Year Plan’.
There are opportunities for companies in many aspects of the agriculture sector.
Defence and security
The Ministry of Defence has the largest devolved budget in the Algerian government. With challenging scenarios on all borders, there is a constant interest in defence systems and security provision.
Algeria has a population of 38 million, about 70% of whom are estimated to be under 30. There is a clear enthusiasm and interest for foreign products.
Foreign companies wishing to set up in Algeria will be expected to comply with the regulations under the 51/49 rule for joint ventures. The law states that a foreign investor must have an Algerian partner and the foreign party can only hold a maximum of 49% of the company. This has not prevented several successful joint ventures.
Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Algeria for more information and advice on the legal considerations in Algeria.
7.1 Intellectual property
Trademarks, designs, patents and copyright are the principal forms of IP protection available to companies and individuals.
Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Algeria for more information on intellectual property protection in Algeria.
Tax and customs considerations
The National Agency of Investment Development lists all tax requirements in Algeria.
Algeria is a country where the personal touch and personal contact, matters. Prospective exporters should visit Algeria and take their time to understand the nature of the system.