By H.E. Ms Salima Abdelhak, Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the Netherlands
I was delighted to participate, with an Algerian trade mission, to “Africa Works 2022” Conference after a lengthy pause due to Covid-19 pandemic as a sign of a business bump. The sessions dedicated to Algeria, gave me the opportunity to outline the priorities of my tenure as Ambassador of Algeria in the Netherlands and shed light on the significant potential of Algerian Dutch cooperation and partnership.
Indeed, the assessment of the economic relations between Algeria and The Netherlands shows their great potential in setting up a strong partnership. If they are still relying on exports of hydrocarbons from Algeria and agricultural products from the Netherlands, with an overall volume of trade exchange of 2.2 billion dollar, they are likely to multiply and diversify. In my book, hydrocarbon from Algeria represented in 2021 more than 85% of the overall volume of trade cooperation. As for The Netherlands, agriculture evolves around 3 top-areas; sustainable potato production, dairy sector and rational use of water in agriculture.
Training programs designed for young entrepreneurs in agriculture and agro-food industries holds also lion’s share of an agreement between the two countries. As for water management and given the fact that the Netherlands are well-seasoned in this very field, cooperation prospects are even more promising, particularly in terms of flood control and basin development pouring. Public works and transport are not the least when it comes to investment opportunities as the two parties are considering to kick off a cooperation project between the Ports of Oran and Rotterdam.
These results are commendable. However, I do believe that we can do much better turning our efforts into a comprehensive med-long term strategy that would pave the way for a more diversified partnership.
Sectors have been already depicted as vital by both parties such as port management, renewable energies (solar, wind and hydrogen), water resources management, mining exploration, transports facilities upgrading, innovation, start-up and waste management. In addition, the Dutch are known for their commercial dynamism, importing different products for resale on the European market. Algeria could take advantage of Dutch expertise in the field of re-exporting products in order to promote the Algerian label on international markets.
The Dutch business community are invited to explore further the massive Algerian market and play its due part alongside with other local and international companies operating in Algeria, in country with a thriving economy and a genuine treasure trove of both human and natural resources that are only awaiting for keen explorers like the Dutch.
To be attractive Algeria has lifted constraints and adopted incentives to facilitate trade and investment, including the abolition of the 51/49 rule governing foreign investments in 2020 and the adoption of the new investment Law. Other many preferences are available for products originated in Algeria within the African free Trade Area (AfCFTA) where Algeria is a founding member .