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Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
Algeria PR1 2012
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Algeria PR1 2012

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Algeria PR1 2012

  1. 1. ARGELIA USAT pp1-3.qxd 22/6/12 14:41 Page 1 rld f olio .c o.u k Our World at wo rt Thursday, July 5, 2012 po thi s re See ALGERIA Celebrating 50 Years of Independence This supplement to USA TODAY was produced by United World Ltd., Suite 179, 34 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0RH – Tel: 44 20 7409 3106 – ourworld@unitedworld-usa.com – www.unitedworld-usa.com Huge support saw Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria since 1999, elected to a third term in office in 2009 An oasis of stability and progress in North Africa stable political sit- Algeria’s business framework Over the past five decades, nounced subsidies designed to President of Algeria in 1999, tion of women in the Algerian A uation has con- tributed to a robust economic expan- sion over the past decade. Today, Algeria’s biggest challenges include tackling un- employment, addressing hous- has evolved substantially in re- cent years. Overhauled legisla- tion and new investment incentives are making their mark on the nation’s financial envi- ronment, adding weight to the government’s affirmations that Algeria has endured some tur- bulent times, including a civil war that dominated the 1990s. It has since become an oasis of relative peace and security in what is viewed as a fairly volatile region. reduce prices by 41% for staples such as sugar and cooking oil. Further measures followed in February last year, when President Bouteflika promised to rescind Algeria’s state-of-emer- gency legislation, which had been and was re-elected in 2004 for a second five-year presidential term. A change to Algeria’s con- stitution, which removed the previous limit of two presiden- tial terms, enabled a third elec- toral victory in 2009 when he parliament increase from 7% to 31%. President Bouteflika be- lieves the relatively high turnout for May’s legislative polls, of around 43% compared to 35% in 2007, should mark the rise of a new generation. ing shortages, abating the formerly socialist Algeria no The Arab Spring uprisings in in place since 1992, and pledged was reported to have won more Quelling the tide of Arab corruption, and further devel- longer differentiates between large parts of North Africa and to open up access to audio-visual than 90% of the vote, carrying Spring revolt with ongoing pro- oping the private sector. public and private enterprises the Middle East that toppled media, an area that had been a his leadership through to the gressive reforms and opening up Increased economic diversifi- state monopoly up to that point. next presidential elections the electoral process to interna- cation and foreign partnerships Responding to widespread con- scheduled for April 2014. tional supervision have helped also head the government’s pri- “AFTER OVERCOMING THE HARDEST OF cern over unemployment in Peaceful parliamentary elec- burnish Algeria’s reputation with ority shortlist. TRIALS, OUR COUNTRY IS NOW HEADED ON Algeria, the President also vowed tions in May 2012 produced an- Western allies who rely on the Algeria is the largest country A PATH OF DYNAMIC PROGRESS, TAKING to promote job creation, partic- other win for the ruling National North African nation’s supplies in Africa and the 10th largest in INTO ACCOUNT THE REALITIES AND ularly for the country’s massive Liberation Front (Front de of natural gas and contributions the world. More than 80% of its ASPIRATIONS OF OUR YOUTH, TO youth population, to further as- Liberation Nationale, FLN) par- to tackling terrorism. The elec- territory is covered by the Sahara STRENGTHEN THE FOUNDATIONS, EXPAND suage discontent. ty. Past elections have been tions, which dashed Islamist op- Desert. Consequently, over 90% THE SCOPE, AND ENSURE THE CONTINUITY Reforms continued through- marred by accusations of fraud, position hopes of gaining power, of its 37 million people live along OF PEACE, INDEPENDENCE AND UNITY OF out 2011. In mid-April, so at Algeria’s request these lat- garnered praise internationally, the country’s fertile 620-mile THE NATION.” President Bouteflika promised est polls were held under inter- with U.S. Secretary of State Mediterranean coastline. The to amend the constitution and national observation by the EU, Hillary Clinton calling them a country is also one of the con- ABDELAZIZ BOUTEFLIKA, President of Algeria invited other political parties the African Union and the Arab “welcome step,” and a statement tinent’s top five economies, fu- to submit proposals for League. EU observers reported from the EU referring to them as elled by massive reserves of oil changes to a parliamentary on how the elections were han- a “step forward in the reform and natural gas which have giv- or national and foreign entities. autocratic regimes to the east of committee. Proposed reforms dled in “generally satisfactory” process” that would consolidate en it a hefty cushion of $205.2 In May 2010, President Algeria – in Tunisia, Egypt and to the laws governing political conditions, auguring well for democracy. billion in foreign currency re- Abdelaziz Bouteflika an- Libya – did not ignite an parties, the electoral process, the continued development serves, and a large hydrocarbon nounced Algeria’s $286 billion ‘Algerian Spring’ last year, thanks and nongovernmental organi- of Algeria’s political system stabilization fund. investment plan for 2010-14, in no small part to a populace zations were announced in in the future. Wary of over-reliance on fill- aimed not only at diversifying reluctant to return to times of August. The following month, Following the elec- ing its coffers from hydrocar- Algeria’s economy away from conflict, as well as swift action after the annual meeting be- tions, new legislation and bons, the government has been hydrocarbons revenue, but al- by President Bouteflika to ad- tween the government and the co-operation between taking action to create a diver- so improving infrastructure, dress popular demands. For ex- trade union confederation, a Algerian authorities and sified and competitive econo- increasing the overall skills ample, riots in January 2011 in $40 increase in the monthly UN Women regarding my, with the ultimate aim of base in the country, and sup- reaction to escalating food prices minimum wage to $240 was female representation in becoming the biggest industri- porting small and medium- subsided in less than two days also announced. the country’s political al base in North Africa. As such, sized enterprises (SMEs). after the government an- Mr. Bouteflika became sphere saw the propor- A turbulent past, a peaceful present and a bright future Scarcely a century has gone by nization period, those who with the 350,000 to 1 million Salvation Front (FIS). When the Bouteflika’s main aims over the last several millennia ruled in politics and business Algerian casualties in the war, FIS emerged victorious in the are to diversify the econ- when Algeria wasn’t being in- were colonists (called pieds left the country’s society and first round of 1991 district elec- omy using the country’s vaded, occupied or used as a noirs, or black feet, by the lo- economy in upheaval. tions, the government cancelled massive oil and gas route of transit. The native in- cals). It wasn’t until the 1950s Independent Algeria’s first the second round of elections, wealth, and strength- habitants, dubbed Berbers by that the Algerians organized president, Ahmed Ben Bella, resulting in demonstrations en its foreign rela- the Romans, have withstood themselves into a formalized nationalized all agricultural, in- across the country. Things fi- tions, particularly waves of Phoenicians, Romans, resistance group, called the dustrial and commercial busi- nally began settling in 1999 those with the Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, National Liberation Front nesses previously owned and when Abdelaziz Bouteflika U.S., U.K. and Turks and finally, French visi- (FLN). Between 1957 and 1962 operated (and then left vacant) was elected president with Germany. tors and invaders. the FLN’s army was successful by colonists. In 1979, the more 70% of the votes. In his en- Modern history began in at hit-and-run guerrilla war- moderate President Colonel deavor to restore security and the 16th century with the ar- fare tactics. A cease-fire was Bendjedid attempted to liber- stability, his administration rival of the Ottoman Empire, signed in 1962 and in a refer- alize the economy, but his re- granted amnesty to thousands which chose Algiers as the endum on independence held forms were met with a backlash of members of the banned principal center of Ottoman in July of that year, 92% of and the riots of Black October. FIS. Having brought power for the Maghreb. In Algerians voted in favor. A decade later, a new con- Algeria into the The Martyrs Memorial in 1830, France invaded the re- As the privileged pieds noirs stitution guaranteed freedoms modern world, Algiers commemorates the gion in response to the now faced an uncertain future, of expression, association and President Algerian War of Algerian Dey’s supposedly in- the vast majority fled the coun- meeting, thus giving way to the Independence sulting of the French consul. try, leaving huge gaps in lead- creation of many new political During the French colo- ership positions. This, coupled parties, including the Islamic Our World Insert is produced by United World. USA TODAY did not participate in its preparation and is not responsible for its content
  2. 2. ARGELIA USAT pp1-3.qxd 22/6/12 17:50 Page 2 Thursday, July 5, 2012 Distributed by USA TODAY 2 ALGERIA Algeria and the U.S. forge a healthy, supportive relationship U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci at the White House, January 2012 High-level meetings between ner in diplomacy and defense, a thriving civil society and in- leaders will point out, there is its people in just a short amount international arenas, along Algeria’s Foreign Minister as well as in trade. stitutions that give the still much to do. of time. As Algerian with our constructive and sta- Mourad Medelci, U.S. President Obama has clear- Algerian people the future Minister Medelci also notes Ambassador to the United bilizing role regionally, has President Obama and ly stated his support for the they so deserve.” that the path has not been States Abdallah Baali stresses, made our country a privileged Secretary of State Clinton country. “The United States is Though separated by thou- without difficulties over the “In 50 years, thanks to free ed- partner of the United States.” emphasize the importance committed to continuing our sands of miles and entirely dif- past half century, but that the ucation and healthcare for all, As close as the countries the American administration co-operation with the govern- ferent in make-up, Algeria and struggles endured can help the sector of higher education have grown, the Foreign places on maintaining good ment of Algeria as it works to the United States do have one Algerians move forward. “The increased from a mere 600 to Minister expresses his inter- relations with Algeria represent and meet the needs bonding aspect in common: freedom, stability, progress and more than 2 million students, est in developing new hori- of all Algerians.” they are both former colonies. democracy that we now enjoy and life expectancy has jumped zons since there is so much to The United States has long In January Secretary of from 47 years to 76 years.” be taken advantage of: “We counted on Algeria as an ally State Hillary Clinton wel- Algeria and the U.S. highly think there is a promising po- in North Africa. In fact, their comed Algerian Foreign “NOT ONLY IS ALGERIA A KEY U.S. ALLY value each other as partners, tential to expand this rela- relations can be traced as far Minister Mourad Medelci to AGAINST GLOBAL TERRORISM, BUT ALSO as witnessed by the many vis- tionship and grant it a more back as 1783, when Algeria Washington D.C., and one AN UNDENIABLE ECONOMIC PARTNER.” its between high-ranking of- strategic dimension. This en- recognized the independence month later Secretary ficials and business leaders. tails growing political collab- MOURAD MEDELCI, Algeria’s Foreign Minister of the young American re- Clinton accepted the invita- Mr. Medelci says that there oration among the high public. A dozen years later, tion to visit Algiers. In the has been “significant progress representatives of both coun- the two signed a Treaty of White House Treaty Room, John F. Kennedy, while still a in Algeria 50 years after its in- in our relations with the U.S. tries to increase consensus Amity and Peace – one of the Mrs. Clinton observed that, senator, spoke passionately in dependence are the outcome for the last few years. Not on- and dialogue between our for- Barbary Treaties – during the “Our two nations have support of Algeria’s indepen- of huge sacrifices and impor- ly is Algeria a key U.S. ally eign affairs ministries. presidency of John Adams. worked closely on security dence while the country strug- tant efforts that we need to val- against global terrorism, but “Also, our economic part- While the treaties ultimately and economic issues, partic- gled for freedom in the 1950s. ue today, in order to better also an undeniable economic nership, now almost entirely fell through, and privateering ularly counter-terrorism, for While independence came to preserve them for the future,” partner – our country has re- confined to the hydrocarbon once again disrupted U.S. more than a decade.” the North African state near- he says. cently become the second U.S. sector, should be extended and shipping in the region lead- She added that the U.S. is ly 200 years after the U.S. sep- Algeria’s stability has under- trade partner in Africa and in diversified. It is very important ing to war, modern-day “committed to working with arated from Great Britain, lined the success of its demo- the Arab world. Plus, the long to multiply our scientific and Algeria has proved to be a Algeria to support an open, Algeria has already made great cratic government in standing action undertaken cultural exchanges to enhance much more dependable part- free, democratic nation with gains – though as all Algerian improving living conditions for by Algeria on the regional and mutual understanding.” Education and scientific research central to future relations Algerian Ambassador Mr. Ensher knows there is Abdallah Baali celebrates still much work to be done, U.S.-Algeria relations and as the Algerian government’s welcomes further policies are vital when it strengthening in all areas comes to consolidating long- lasting business relationships, Since 2008, Abdallah Baali and some foreign investors has been the Algerian have been unimpressed by Ambassador to the U.S. and measures such as the 51/49 can vouch for the ever- rule in joint ventures. strengthening relations be- He says: “That is why the tween the two countries. major challenge for us and “In the political field, over Algerians is to work togeth- the last four years, we’ve been er to address the concerns able to put into place a robust that caused the Algerian gov- and comprehensive dialogue ernment to have this kind of on most regional and interna- restriction and to work with tional issues of common in- them to address those con- terest,” he says. “In trade and cerns and eliminate the ob- investment, the U.S. has been stacles.” for several years our first trade But the Ambassador also partner with a global volume believes the responsibility for of exchange oscillating be- fortifying bonds does not lie tween $17 and $21 billion, thus solely with governments: making the U.S. Algeria’s first “The most important element customer as well as one of the “I AM VERY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT of the relationship is not be- top investors in the Algerian “THERE IS A GROWING INTEREST IN tween the governments, but ALGERIA AND THE U.S. TO CREATE MORE CONTINUING GROWTH IN ECONOMIC hydrocarbon sector.” TIES AND IN SCIENTIFIC, EDUCATION rather between societies, be- He points out that in addi- BRIDGES, EXCHANGES AND LINKS BETWEEN tween the peoples, and that is UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH CENTERS AND CULTURAL CO-OPERATION.” tion, agro-business, pharma- the solid base that we’re try- IN BOTH COUNTRIES.” ceuticals, alternative energies, HENRY S. ENSHER, ing to build now.” construction and tourism are Ambassador of the United States of America to Algeria He says that the embassy ABDALLAH BAALI, sectors that hold great po- Ambassador of Algeria to the United States of America is working towards this tar- tential and that investors get and “when there is inter- should be encouraged by action by Algerians going to Algeria’s “unique political and progress we can make in the North Americans a peek in- that prospects for strength- Civilian Representative-South the U.S. or Americans com- social stability,” which stand coming years in this particu- to modern-day Algeria. ening relations in all areas are in Afghanistan, Chairman of ing here, we always make sure out nowadays in a region bat- lar area,” says Mr. Baali. Ambassador Baali invites excellent. He says, “I am very the Department of Near East they talk to the societies tered by uprisings. The Algerian Embassy in “Americans from all walks of optimistic about continuing and North Africa Area rather than to the govern- Algeria-U.S. relations go Washington is sharing its cel- life to come to Algeria and growth in economic ties and Studies at the Foreign Service ments, thus greater under- beyond business, however, ebrations of the country’s 50th discover a country where in scientific, education and Institute, and Deputy Political standing will come and this extending into cultural ar- anniversary of independence people have successfully cultural co-operation. Counselor in Baghdad, among is the basis for a long-term eas, especially in terms of ed- with the American public blended ancestral values such Mr. Ensher is no stranger other positions. strong partnership.” ucation. “There is a growing throughout 2012, with a series as hospitality into the re- to Middle Eastern and North interest in Algeria and the of cultural programs and quirements of modern life.” African affairs: before his ap- U.S. to create more bridges, events including Algerian film Mr. Baali’s counterpart, U.S. pointment to the Embassy in A UNITED WORLD SUPPLEMENT PRODUCED BY: exchanges and links between festivals, concerts, fashion Ambassador to Algeria Henry Algiers in the summer of Christophe Laurent (Editorial Director); universities and research cen- shows and art exhibitions, Ensher, also plays a key role 2011, he had served as a Paloma Garralda (Project Director); ters in both countries and I held in the largest cities. in maintaining the two na- Senior Advisor in the Office Alain Caignard, Jose Ignacio Alegre and am very optimistic about the These events will give tions’ healthy ties, believing of Afghanistan Affairs, Senior Brianne Bystedt (Project Co-ordinators) Our World Insert is produced by United World. USA TODAY did not participate in its preparation and is not responsible for its content
  3. 3. ARGELIA USAT pp1-3.qxd 22/6/12 15:14 Page 3 Distributed by USA TODAY Thursday, July 5, 2012 ALGERIA 3 Unique challenges require unique solutions Opportunities Algeria’s varied topography presents significant physical challenges for balanced land management and equitable economic development The largest country on the Amongst others aims, it outlines moderate its energy consump- “We cannot have harmonious, ($4.86 billion) of public resources online African continent, covering an the need for wider access to ICT, tion and Hassi Messaoud is fo- balanced growth without good to be distributed via direct fund- Foreign investors and area almost 3.5 times the size the creation of economic zones cused on renewable energies, human resource management,” ing and reduced bank loan in- local entrepreneurs can of Texas , Algeria has a unique with appropriate infrastructure, while Algeria’s Sahara region is, says Mr. Rahmani. “That is why terest rates for SMEs to improve find the perfect match at geographical diversity spanning modernizing transport net- naturally, based around the so- we are placing the citizen at the their access to finance. www.andi.dz fertile lands, mountain peaks works, and the development of lar power industry. heart of our sustainable devel- “The Algerian market has a and steppe plains buffering logistic platforms Last December, Algeria be- opment and land management.” size that is not found anywhere If ever there desert spread. came the third country to sign The European Commission else on the continent,” says was a country “We are facing some serious up to the Desertec Industrial made €45 million ($57 million) Abderrahmane Benkhalfa, with limitless challenges in the next few Initiative – a German-led vision available in 2009 through its ME- President of the Banks and investment decades,” says Cherif Rahmani, of a network of renewable ener- DA II program to help Algerian Financial Establishments opportuni- the former Minister of Land gy plants across North Africa, SMEs sharpen their international Association, ABEF. “People talk ties, it is Algeria. The largest Management and the harnessing both solar and wind edge. In 2010 the government of Nigeria, but it is not the same. country on the African con- Environment. “First we have the sources and exporting electric- introduced an SME competi- Algeria holds something unique: tinent (since the recent divi- demographic challenge of a new ity to Europe. By 2050, Desertec tiveness plan targeting the cre- there are few countries that can sion of Sudan) with a long generation needing more jobs, aims to be supplying 15% of all ation of 20,000 SMEs with a present both great potential and coastline, thousands of hours services and rights. Second is the the EU’s electricity demands budget of 380 billion dinars opportunities at the same time.” of sunshine, rich mineral and economic challenge: we want to from projects in the Sahara. hydrocarbon deposits, well- be open to globalization whilst In May, the National Council preserved Roman ruins and avoiding its negative impact, of Investment (NCI) assigned a very young population, turning it to our advantage. Third the National Agency of Algeria represents one of the there is an ongoing depletion Intermediation and Land greatest untapped potentials of natural resources, not only CHERIF RAHMANI, former Minister of Regulation (ANIREF) to set up in the world. energy resources, but also soil Land Management and Environment 42 new industrial zones nation- Foreign investors have tra- and water. Plus there is the wide that will be fully ready by ditionally shied away from worldwide political challenge of The government has estab- 2017 and be to international stan- the northern African state global warming.” lished various regional hubs that dards of infrastructure. whose public sector still dom- In 2010, the government re- will focus on specific sectors. The creation of regional fo- inates the economy, thereby leased the National Scheme for The new town of Sidi Abdallah cus points and industrial zones leaving the field wide open Land Management (SNAT) to will concentrate on ICT, biotech, is also part of the government’s for today’s entrepreneurs. confront those challenges with health, medicine and pharma- drive to encourage the creation Those who do enter do not a policy framework for nation- ceuticals, as well as nanotech- of more small and medium-sized do so blindly – on the con- wide sustainable development nologies, robotics and laser enterprises (SMEs) and spur trary, foreigners find a valu- that is socially inclusive and en- development. Boughezoul, in widespread socioeconomic able ally in the National vironmentally sensitive. the steppe, has been designed to growth for Algerians. Basic resources such as water and fertile soil are particularly precious in North Africa Agency of Investment Development, or ANDI. ANDI welcomes partner- ships in both private and Solid policies turn economy around public sectors, and boasts a trilingual online meeting platform where investors can Substantial currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon stabilization fund have helped buffer Algeria against the latest global economic crises post their intention or offer. Interested parties can con- The positive turnaround in counting for around 60% of verse investments in different ing schools want to start a rise, helped by new branch- tact ANDI, which then puts Algeria’s economic position budget revenues, 30% of GDP, currencies, ensuring liquidity small business, they need to es, banking education initia- the two parties into contact. was evidenced earlier this year and more than 95% of export in the financial system to have immediate capital avail- tives and the modernization Currently, there are 175 of- when the IMF asked the North earnings. The country’s exter- strengthen and raise Algerian able. These funds may be used of payment methods. fers of partnership listed in African nation for $500 billion nal debt is also extremely low, banks’ capital levels and in- to create a multitude of small “We implemented an elec- its database. in financial support to help the at about 2% of GDP. In 2011 the crease their capacity for com- entities with a quick turnover,” tronic mass payment system One of the advantages of organization fund loans for Algerian economy grew by mitment, and also enforced says Mr. Djoudi. in a few areas of the territory this online system is that the emerging markets and devel- 2.6% and inflation was 3.9%. limitations on the short-term In addition, the government a few years ago, but at the mo- foreign investor can do this oping countries. The request borrowing of banks on the for- has set up a national invest- ment there is still a need to all remotely from his or her highlights Algeria’s transition eign market. ment fund that is working on learn how to use this tech- home country. Recently, AN- from an emerging to an upper- “Although it is not over, we various major projects and is nology. People have a strong DI also set up a one-stop shop middle-income economy, can say we have navigated safe- involved in public-private attraction for cash money, but to further facilitate and ex- turning the country from an ly through the reefs of this cri- partnerships. the mentality is gradually pedite investment, reducing IMF borrower in the 1990s to sis and we have brought Bank penetration is on the evolving,” says Mr. Djoudi. the number of steps. it now being a net lender. growth to the domestic mar- According to Abdelkrim With currency reserves of ket. Through our strong do- Mansouri, ANDI’s General around $205.2 billion, ac- mestic demand, in 2011 almost Manager, the agency not on- cording to the latest IMF re- $46 billion were spent on im- ly promotes investment, it al- port, Algeria has gone from ported goods,” says Mr. Djoudi. so assists investors in their being a bankrupt country to “We have also created en- projects, putting them in having enough in reserve to trepreneurs who, in my opin- touch with the relevant au- cover its operating costs for ion, have the capacity to both thorities and raising aware- five years. This is in stark con- meet domestic demand and ness about tax exemptions trast to the 1984-94 period, also to position themselves in and other incentives. when the country had to get KARIM DJOUDI, Minister of Finance external markets.” ANDI aims to help diver- by with less than a month’s In banking, capital invest- sify Algeria’s economy away emergency reserves in hand. According to the Minister ment has also seen a boom. from hydrocarbons, by grow- Algeria has the 10th-largest of Finance Karim Djoudi, “We created 48 regional in- ing local industry and at- stocks of natural gas in the Algeria has been relatively un- vestment funds that each have tracting foreign expertise. world and is the sixth-largest scathed by the recent global an amount designated for “The Algerian authorities gas exporter. Hydrocarbon rev- economic downturn due to the small businesses. Often, if seek technology transfer enues have long formed the secure management of the young people from univer- Algeria now boasts a sophisticated economy, with low external debt, a lively stock through foreign investment,” backbone of the economy, ac- country’s foreign reserves, di- sities or professional train- exchange, and enough currency reserves to cover its operating costs for five years says Mr. Mansouri. “They look for activities that will re- duce the import bill, that is to Over two million new homes to be built by 2017 say to produce locally some- thing we generally import. If you look at our list of imports, you’ll see we import things A huge construction program is under way as the government attempts to improve the lives of thousands of families living in poor accommodation that we could easily make here. Secondly, we want to Despite living in one of the conduct seminars on new renovation and rehabilita- for example, we got to work izens. But there is also an eco- diversify our exports – we wealthiest countries in Africa, housing techniques at vari- tion, we also have a substan- on virtually the entire city nomic dimension, because don’t want to export only hy- affordable housing is still ous locations over the com- tial program to upgrade center. These are very large- when we see trucks all over drocarbons, which are sub- beyond the reach of some ing year. sustainable infrastructure in scale programs that cost the the place, servicing the needs ject to changes in the low-income and even middle- Noureddine Moussa, cities. This operation has cost state a lot of money.” of the housing market, this has international market.” income earners in Algeria. It Minister of Housing and us something like $5 billion The Minister points out created a lot of synergy and Foreigners in Algeria need is a pressing problem for the Town Planning, is confident over five years, and for the that in addition to improving stimulation in the economy. not worry about their in- government, and one it is the current shortfall of 1.2 next phase of the program the lives of citizens, the gov- “Experts say that a housing vestments, says Mr. seeking to address with a na- million housing units will be we are looking at something ernment’s home-building pro- unit creates an additional 1.5 Mansouri. Algeria has signed tional housing program that like $4 billion.” grams have other benefits in to two jobs for every worker 48 bilateral agreements on aims to build 2.4 million Demand for social and sub- terms of the creation of jobs directly employed during the mutual protection and has homes by 2017. sidized housing in Algeria has and contribution to GDP. construction period. So if a agreements to avoid double However, much progress risen with the size of the pop- “Housing has a social di- program is creating 2 million taxation. It has also ratified all has been made: more than 2 ulation and an exodus from mension that has the potential homes the sector is employing international conventions on million homes have been con- the rural areas to the cities. to improve the lives of our cit- a lot of people.” protection of foreign in- structed during the past The public housing schemes vestors. Given Algeria’s decade, and thousands of introduced since President healthy fiscal situation, for- families have been relocated Abdelaziz Bouteflika came eign investors are encouraged to better accommodation. to power in 1999 followed to finance their projects Citizens whose monthly in- decades of under-investment. through local banks – Algeria come is less than 24,000 di- “After 15 years with almost is more interested in know- nars (about $320) are entitled no building activity there was how transfer and than for- to free state-provided homes. a huge shortage to address,” eign funding. The Ministry of Housing says Mr. Moussa. In addition While foreign investors are will be represented at the NOUREDDINE MOUSSA, Minister of to building new homes the limited to owning a 49% fair celebrating the nation’s Housing and Town Planning government is spending share in any company, the 50 th anniversary celebra- money on rehabilitating and government encourages them tions, which runs from July met by 2014, with 674,000 renovating old buildings, par- to link up with more thanone 5-20 in Algiers. A special doc- homes of all types to be de- ticularly in Algiers. Algerian partner, thereby per- umentary and magazine have livered this year, to be fol- “Some of the buildings are mitting the foreign party to been produced describing lowed by a further 265,000 in a dismal state, and we have keep a larger stake in the com- how the sector has moved for- units in each of the coming had to allocate a lot of mon- pany and allowing a more ward during the past five two years. ey to their rehabilitation,” evenly-distributed share of decades, and the Ministry will “Alongside construction, says the Minister. “In Oran, Vast sums are being spent to address overcrowding in Algiers the risk. Our World Insert is produced by United World. USA TODAY did not participate in its preparation and is not responsible for its content
  4. 4. ARGELIA USAT pp4-5.qxd 22/6/12 14:46 Page 4 Thursday, July 5, 2012 Distributed by USA TODAY 4 ALGERIA Business climate warms up A fully open free market has yet to emerge, but private gan to take notice. sector initiatives and organizations are clearing past hurdles Today, although the private sector still faces many bureau- It is often said that numbers do tration of former president Ben cratic challenges, it has no short- not lie, but in the case of Algeria, Bella had opted for a socialist age of willpower. As Mr. Hamiani numbers do not fully represent regime, “a kind of regime that puts it: “Algerian businesses are the reality. For instance, the did not allow private initiative driven by dynamic, extremely Heritage Foundation’s Index of to be realized. Because at that ambitious business leaders.” Economic Freedom has ranked time, this was a third world coun- The best reform, he says, the country 14th among the 17 try and the people thought that would be one that would spur countries in the Middle East the engine of development and the growth of private-sector and North African region, and growth was not to be carried by small and medium-sized enter- 140th globally. Similarly, the the private sector… In my opin- prises and industries (SMEs and World Bank’s Doing Business ion it was a mistake,” he says. SMIs), which he considers to be survey puts Algeria at 148th place “The state was chief, regulator, key engines of growth, creators out of 183 countries. While sponsor and protector, and there- of employment, and enablers of these figures present a bleak fore although the private sector economic diversification. “IN LESS THAN 30 “OF THE VALUE WE “ALGERIAN outlook on Algeria’s business was tolerated, it was in fact mar- A clear example of how the YEARS, ALGERIA CREATE, 59% GOES BUSINESSES ARE climate, what they do not do is ginalized. Banks didn’t lend mon- DRIVEN BY private sector can benefit the take into consideration the ey to the private sector. It was CAN BECOME A TO THE STATE country is the Cevital Group. PIVOTAL, WEALTHY BUDGET, 40% IS DYNAMIC, country’s recent history, hur- very difficult to obtain land.” EXTREMELY The second largest company in dles and developments. This system lasted for nearly COUNTRY, WHICH REINVESTED AND the country and the first in the COULD MAYBE JOIN WE DISTRIBUTE 1% AMBITIOUS Ahmed Tibaoui, General 30 years, which is in Mr. BUSINESS private sector, Cevital is active Manager of the World Trade Hamiani’s words, “why it is dif- THE BRICS IN THE TO THE ALGERIAN in electronics, household ap- NEXT 20 YEARS.” PEOPLE.” LEADERS.” Center Algeria, is blunt yet op- ficult to turn 180 degrees now.” pliances, construction, super- timistic: “I think that [the rat- In addition, once the econo- REDA HAMIANI, markets, agriculture, shipping, ings are] a bit exaggerated. We my was opened up in the late AHMED TIBAOUI, ISSAD REBRAB, logistics, real estate, automo- General Manager of the World President of the President of the Business should be classed better than 1990s, a series of unfortunate Leaders Forum (FCE) biles and glass among others. Trade Center, Algeria Cevital Group that, because we are coming events overshadowed this vital According to its President back from far behind: our move and posed ever more chal- Issad Rebrab, Cevital is a huge economy was an administered lenges. The civil war (1991-2002) local production was com- market. Public companies then the employees and eventually to contributor to state coffers as economy, managed by the gov- was detrimental not only to the pounded by new regulation. accumulated huge stocks of mer- investors. Foreigners were not well as to Algeria’s overall de- ernment until the end of the economy, but to the country’s “Due to the agreement we had chandise that they could not sell.” yet interested, given the recent velopment. He says, “We have 1980s. It started to open up in reputation as well. Algeria’s di- with the IMF, we opened our In the mid to late 1990s, pri- turbulence; however, as more done the math regarding the 1998 with new laws and access nar began to devalue and, be- foreign trade, which had been vate enterprises that had reputable local investors – such value that we create: 59% goes to the private sector and mar- cause almost all raw materials under the governance of the state launched projects struggled to as SIM and the Cevital Group – to the state budget, 40% is rein- ket economy.” used in local factories were im- in the past. We were obliged to pay their loans to the banks. bought shares of public compa- vested and we distribute 1% to Reda Hamiani, President of ported, production became open up, and foreign producers By 1998, the government ini- nies, a growing sign of confi- the Algerian people. And this the Business Leaders Forum more expensive. with cheaper products of very tiated a privatization plan and dence was being sent out and is after having paid our em- (FCE), recalls how the adminis- Mr. Tibaoui says that a lag in good quality started to enter the began selling its companies to eventually foreign investors be- ployees and all our costs.” New opportunities on a plate Private-sector entrepreneurism is reflected in Algeria’s leading producer of foodstuffs that is also looking to enter its hotel and tourism sectors while boosting opportunities for Algerians Earlier this year, a trade delega- Improvement Network, the African one, which also comes tion from the U.S. that February meeting helped to from Algeria and Tunisia.” included seven wheat produc- open discussions on “serious Beyond agriculture, the ers visited El Fedjoudj prospects for Algerian- company has also invested in Commune in Guelma Province. American relations in the area Algeria’s real estate business Its mission was to exchange ideas of wheat production and mar- and is representative of and experiences with Algerian keting for the great benefit of Algeria’s private-sector entre- producers and seek out oppor- such an important sector of preneurism that is beginning tunities for partnerships be- food production in Algeria.” to gain a higher profile. tween the two countries. The Benamor Group was Mr. Benamor is one of sev- During the visit, the U.S. founded in 1984 and is a lead- eral prominent Algerian busi- wheat growers delegation held ing producer of a variety of nessmen increasing their talks with representatives of the foodstuffs, such as tomato paste, involvement in the country’s Benamor Group, a leader in jams and preserves, durum long-overlooked hotel and Algerian agro-industry and part wheat pastas and couscous. It tourism sectors. With a view to of an association that is driving is also involved in food canning. diversifying the company’s in- forward improvements in wheat It has an annual turnover ap- terests, he is on the lookout for quality. The visit came just a few proaching 20 billion dinar ($260 specialists in the construction, interior design and hotel fur- nishing trades to help him de- “WE WANT TO HELP CITIZENS. THE FIRST STEP velop a 2,000-bed resort near El IS TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT; WE FOCUS ON Tarf on the Tunisian border. THIS ABOVE DOUBLING OUR REVENUE. IT IS The Benamor Group also re- OUR PRIORITY. BY DOUBLING EMPLOYMENT LAID BENAMOR, flects an increasing trend in A new mill currently under construction will enable the WE ARE AT THE SAME TIME TRYING TO General Manager of the Benamor Group Algeria’s private sector to im- Benamor Group to triple production and enter new markets MAINTAIN A SOLID PURCHASING POWER.” prove corporate social respon- couscous, due to the astro- different from what you can ple, Algerian and North sibility. “We have a lot of projects nomical storage capacity com- find on the market. The only African migrants are the fore- and want to help citizens. The months after U.S. Ambassador million) and employs more than pared to what we have now. sector we have not yet explored most couscous consumers. first step is to create more and to Algeria Henry Ensher had al- 1,000 people. “Still sticking to the agri-food is livestock agriculture.” Today, and since we started ex- more employment; we focus so visited the Benamor Group “We have a project to build sector, we want to expand into In Europe and the U.S., the porting two years ago, they are on this above doubling our rev- at the same location. a large mill that will allow us to new areas like producing bis- company’s products are ex- proud to have high quality enue. It is our priority,” says Mr. According to Laid Benamor, triple what we presently pro- cuits – which is something we tremely popular with the Algerian products. Although Benamor. “By doubling em- General Manager of the duce,” says Mr. Benamor. have never done before. We will Diaspora looking for a taste of people always believe that ployment we are at the same Benamor Group and President “Likewise, we will be expand- try to keep the same line, home. Mr. Benamor says, “In couscous is a Moroccan prod- time trying to maintain a solid of the Wheat Quality ing our production of pasta and process and product quality, the case of France, for exam- uct, it is actually a North purchasing power.” Our World Insert is produced by United World. USA TODAY did not participate in its preparation and is not responsible for its content

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