US Department of State: Algeria business climate "stable" and "promising"

WASHINGTON – Algeriais an "emerging," "stable" and "promising" marketofferinghugeopportunities for foreigninvestors, according to 2013 Investment ClimateStatement of the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairsat the US Department of State.

 Encouraging direct investment in Algeria, the report underlinesthat the business climate in Algeria "has stabilized" following the adoption of the Finance Act 2009, whichimposed the 51/49% rule, and considersAlgeria "an emerging and growingmarket."

The growing Algerian economyisattractinginterestfrom multinational firmsaround the world, the report said.

Algeriawithitswealth, its five-yeardevelopment programme worth US$286 billion and itsexpanding infrastructure needs and growingconsumerproductdemand "isattractinginterestfromcompaniesaround the world."

The reports notes that "the climate for international firmsconsidering direct investments in Algeria has stabilized in the wake of a series of restrictive foreigninvestmentrulesenactedin 2009 and 2010."

The latest figures provided by the report show quasi-stability of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Algeria over four yearswith US$ 2.7 billion in 2008, US$ 3.1 billion in 2009, US$ 2.3 billion in 2010 and US$2.7 billion in 2011.

"The 51/49% ruleremainscontroversial but foreigninvestors have adapted," the source saidaddingthat "in some cases, foreignfirms have partneredwith multiple Algerian companiesthatagree to share the majoritypercentage, so the foreignpartnermaintainsoverall control."

Someinvestors have expresseda "preference" for workingthrough a local partner, whichcan help them "navigating the challenging local bureaucracy and business norms," the source said.

In addition, the new law on hydrocarbons and the 2013 Finance Actincludemeasures "to easetax and customs procedures" for foreigninvestors, according to the report.

The hydrocarbonlawamendments are expected to include provisions to encourage foreigninvestment, especially in non-conventionalhydrocarbons (shale gas exploration), the source added.

 

(APS) Tuesday 26 February 2013