Algeria, France to boost economic ties

GMT 04:18 2016 Monday ,11 April

Arab Today, arab today Algeria, France to boost economic ties

Manuel Valls with Abdelmalek Sellal
Algiers -Arab Today

Algeria and France signed nine cooperation agreements Sunday in several fields during French Prime Minister Manuel Valls's visit to Algeria.

The agreements were signed during the third Joint High Level Intergovernmental Committee co-chaired by Valls and his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmalek Sellal.

The cooperation agreements aim to boost bilateral cooperation between Algeria and France in the justice, education, higher education and social assurance fields.

The French PM told reporters that France is committed to support Algeria's in its economic diversification efforts.

"Algeria launched a process to diversify its economy, and France supports it in order to succeed together," Valls informed a joint press conference held with Sellal after their bilateral business meeting.

He further noted that "our companies invest in strategic fields in Algeria, including the health and pharmaceutical industry, foodstuff, transport, and high-tech," he affirmed, adding that 6,000 French companies have partners already in Algeria, whereas 500 others are operating alone in Algeria.

Valls admitted that France is willing to "become Algeria's primary economic partner. In fact, France is already the top non-hydrocarbon investor in Algeria, and its second trade partner after China."

Valls also noted that Algeria and France can play a major role in boosting relations between Europe and Africa, thereby increasing trade agreements between both continents.

As for Sellal, he invited French operators to invest further in Algeria, and take advantage of the measures the government has set to facilitate the process.

"Legitimate measures have been taken to encourage investment and improve the business environment," The Algerian PM said.

He asserted that Algeria is an attractive market owing to its political and macroeconomic stability, low energy costs, qualified workforce as well as domestic economic development processes.

Sellal also noted that Algeria's current and prospective facilities, including the mega seaport of El Hamdania in western Algiers due to be finalized in two years, will open new trade partnership opportunities between France and Algeria "to advance together and enter foreign markets, mostly in Africa."

Earlier, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had received Valls in his office in upper Algiers. The meeting took place in the presence of delegations from both nations.

Valls and Bouteflika discussed bilateral relations along with several other issues including the situation in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

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