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    Vietnam - Algeria business ties

    Viet Nam and Algeria will take measures to boost economic and commercial exchanges, delegations of the two foreign ministries agreed at their talks in Algiers on July 18.

    The Vietnamese delegation, which is on a working visit to Algeria, was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Dung and the host delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra.

    The two sides agreed to increase the exchange of business delegations which would seek more practical measures to strengthen economic relations between the two countries. To this aim, the Algerian side said a large delegation of small and medium-sized enterprises will visit Viet Nam in December.

    The Vietnamese diplomatic delegation plans to have working sessions with the Algerian Ministers of Commerce, Energy and Mining, and Finance during their visit, which will run until July 21.

    The delegation was received by Algerian Foreign Minister Mohammed Bedjaoui on July 19.

    Vietnam, Algeria boost bilateral relations

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    Hanoi seeks to expand cooperation with African countries

    Hanoi has conducted a market survey on Algeria and Morocco, focusing on trade, tourism, investment and labour.

    While the Algerian government expressed their wish to exchange experts in health, education and agriculture with Vietnam, many Algerian enterprises wanted to directly import goods from Vietnam and to learn tourism development experiences from Hanoi.

    Vietnam-Algeria bilateral trade turnover has increased with Vietnam's export value to Algeria reached 31 million USD in 2005.

    In Morocco, two companies, the Societe des caffess Sahara and Echo Trading, signed contracts to buy cinnamon, coffee, coconut meat and pepper from the Hanoi Trade Corporation.

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    Algeria, Viet Nam enhance economic ties

    On the occasion of Algeria celebrating its 52nd National Day today, the country’s Ambassador to Viet Nam, Naceur Boucherit, discussed the economic integration process with Viet Nam News and the ties that bind the two countries:

    Can you briefly describe Algeria’s economic development over the past and its future programmes?

    To fully integrate with the world economy, Algeria has, since the 1980s, initiated profound and progressive economic reforms, putting an end to State interventionism. The state has now confined its role to regulating the economy and promoting investments.

    We have made substantial achievements on this path through constantly adapting the laws of the market economy, and opening up and encouraging public, private and foreign investments.

    In addition to these challenges on the domestic front, we have to, at the international level, make strategic choices related to the Association Agreement with the European Union, which came into force in September 2005, and the negotiation of Algeria’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Arab free-trade region.

    The international financial institutions attributed the dynamism of the economic recovery over the past decades to macroeconomic policies adopted by the country, and to the rising price of oil in the international market.

    Here are a few economic indicators for 2006:

    · the economy is estimated to grow at between 5 to 6 per cent during the current year

    · debt is expected to come down below US$5 billion by the end of the year after standing at over $30 billion in 1998

    · foreign currency reserves will increase to $70 billion by the end of August 2006

    · the inflation rate will be at 1.5 to 2 per cent and unemployment rate below 15 per cent of the working population

    This trend is expected to be maintained during 2007 and may be bettered in the coming years.

    After launching a support programme for economic revival in 2001–04, injecting $7 billion in agriculture, hydraulics and education, Algeria has launched a supplementary programme to support its economic growth (2005-2009) with a budget of $55 billion, directed notably to building one million apartments (38 per cent of the budget) and the implementation of major infrastructure projects (37 per cent).

    The policy for economic revival was strengthened by putting in place special programmes for the Wilayas (provinces) in the south and highlands. The global budget for these huge programmes adds up to almost $100 billion for five years. We have good reasons to believe that Algeria is currently experiencing unprecedented development in its history.

    With Algeria ready for the 10th round of negotiations on its WTO entry, what are currently its main hurdles for accession?

    Algeria has opted for an open and liberal economic model for nearly three decades and adopted liberalisation policies, removing monopolies and restructuring tariffs.

    Our country’s accession to the WTO is important to fully participate in the world market and multilateral trade. The process of accession has gone smoothly despite its enormous complexity. Since instituting the working group for WTO accession in 1995, nine meetings have been held to examine Algeria’s trade regime, a protocol on accession as well as a draft decision on accession at the ministerial conference. The working group is now getting ready for the final stage of accession. At the next session, the working group will examine certain facets of the draft report. Meanwhile, bilateral and multilateral negotiations have registered tangible progress.

    In addition to restructuring its legal framework to conform with international trade regulations, Algeria has committed itself notably to reducing the informal market share in trade, modernise the banking sector, pursue the privatisation programme and protect intellectual property. Prompted by the President of the Republic, the pace of accession is now experiencing a new acceleration.

    The 10th round should be the last in the negotiation process, following Algeria’s talks with a number of countries including the United States, the European Union and Australia, during the previous round. The negotiations have now entered a decisive phase.

    How do you evaluate Viet Nam’s bid for the WTO? What are the obstacles that Viet Nam and Algeria are likely to face after joining the trade organisation?

    I have followed with interest and admiration the achievements of Viet Nam in implementing the open-door economic and renewal policies. These have resulted in accelerating the economy and led to industrialisation and modernisation. The high growth rate achieved has improved the standard of living and sped up regional integration.

    Viet Nam started its economic reforms a decade back and is now on the verge of entering the WTO. This will constitute a great and merited victory, and become a crucial step for Viet Nam’s integration with the world economy.

    Algeria will go through the same process for joining the international trade body. It will face the same challenges and demands on economy by opening up the market and liberalising trade. The fact that both countries are going through the same process makes it useful for us to share experiences, notably after acceding to the WTO.

    It goes without saying that accession to the WTO will improve the economic environment in both countries, create favourable climate for investments and bring new opportunities for developing every sector of the economy.

    Algeria and Viet Nam, however, have to consider minimising the impacts of international economic integration. The two countries have to create conditions to make their businesses more competitive. The latter must be sufficiently prepared for economic restructuring resulting from WTO membership. For the moment, the best way to protect our economies is by increasing competitiveness, product quality and capacity to face sound and fair competition. However, efforts have to be undertaken to ease the impact on the most vulnerable strata of the society.

    How do you view the current two-way trade between Viet Nam and Algeria? Will WTO membership help to increase bilateral trade?

    Despite geographic constraints and the fact that the two countries are under the effect of a tropism of turning more to neighbouring regions for traditional exchange and trade relations, Viet Nam and Algeria, as far as bilateral trade and partnership are concerned, have sound assets and tremendous potential. Businesses in both countries have an essential role in providing concrete content for bilateral cooperation and for setting up a partnership of strategic dimensions.

    Over the last two years, several Viet Namese business missions have participated in seminars in Algeria, notably on the occasion of the visits of the Prime Minister and the chairman of the National Assembly of Viet Nam, and also during the meeting of the joint commission. An important Algerian economic delegation is expected to visit Ha Noi next December.

    The main objectives of the two countries are to enhance their economic bonds, to equal their excellent political relations, and promote sustainable and diversified cooperation.

    The two countries have good reasons to be pleased with the encouraging results of the last meeting of the joint Algeria-Viet Nam Economic Commission, held in Algiers, last March. We should now translate them into economic realities.

    The accession of the two countries to the WTO will allow their businesses to expand and develop in reciprocal markets with less constraint, greater freedom of movement and in a transparent and healthy manner in accordance with the laws of the market.

    In the context of global economic integration of our two countries, the similarity and complementarity of the two economies constitute an important factor in developing trade and finding new markets.

    What should Viet Nam focus on to meet the $2.8 billion export target set for the African market by 2010? How will Algeria support Viet Nam in this regard?

    A new dynamic in African-Vietnamese exchange has emerged over many years, promoting multilateral cooperation. Algeria wants to contribute to this dynamic since the country has a privileged geographical position on the cross-roads of Africa, Europe and Asia. Furthermore, Algeria has basic infrastructure and human and material resources. Our country also plays an influential role in promoting and developing the continent, mainly through the new partnership initiative for the development of Africa (NEPAD).

    Our two countries have considerable potential that we can exploit, in which Algeria would act as a gate for Vietnamese businesses and vice versa. The actions of both countries should complement the two economies, and go beyond simple trade exchanges to build a strategic, mutually beneficial partnership. The two should also strengthen the time-honoured, sincere and friendly relations that always bound Algeria and Viet Nam.

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    Viet Nam - Algeria business ties

    HA NOI, 18-12-2006 (VNS) — The Viet Nam-Algeria business forum will be held in Ha Noi on Wednesday, according to the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

    The forum will be jointly held by VCCI and the Algerian Embassy in Viet Nam during the official visit of Mustapha Benbada, Algerian Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Handicrafts, to Viet Nam. The visit is aimed at boosting cooperation in economy, commerce, investment and technology transfer between the two countries.

    The Algerian minister will be accompanied by entrepreneurs operating in farm produce and food processing, construction, electronics, pharmaceuticals, mechanical engineering, chemicals, rubber and plastics.

    VCCI said that the forum would provide Vietnamese enterprises with opportunities to find partners in Africa, considered a potential market for Vietnamese products.

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    Vietnam and Algeria’s economies share many similarities which can bring about mutual benefits, affirmed Algerian Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Craft Industry Mustapha Benbada.

    The Algerian minister, accompanied by a delegation of Algerian entrepreneurs operating in agriculture and food processing, construction, electronics, pharmaceuticals, mechanical engineering, chemicals, rubber and plastics, was speaking at the Vietnam-Algeria Business Forum in Hanoi on December 20.

    Despite bilateral efforts, economic and trade relations between Vietnam and Algeria have neither reflected the political goodwill of leaders of the two countries nor matched the potentials of both Algeria and Vietnam, he said, adding that although two-way trade has continuously developed over recent years, it has still remained modest.

    The Algerian minister’s point of view was also shared by Vietnam Deputy Minister of Construction Tong Van Nga who co-chaired the forum. The Vietnamese deputy minister stressed that the forum was a good opportunity for businesses of the two countries to meet, exchange information and seek for partnership.

    The Algerian minister briefed the Vietnamese businessmen who participated in the forum on the Algerian economy as well as the country’s incentive policies for investors. He especially introduced Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's programme to boost economic growth with a budget of US $144 billion in the 2005-2009 period and Algeria's implementation of State-owned enterprise privatisation process and affirmed that these have offered opportunities for not only Algerian but also Vietnamese businesses to establish partnership and trade relations.

    According to him, construction and agriculture were the two sectors that Vietnam and Algeria can promote bilateral co-operation.

    Addressing the forum, Algerian Ambassador to Vietnam Naceur Boucherit said Algeria can be served as a gateway for Vietnamese businesses to enter the African market and through Vietnam, Algeria can access to the vast and dynamic Asian market. To achieve this, Vietnam and Algeria should build up a strategic partnership for mutual benefits and consolidate the traditionally fine and friendship bilateral relations.

    This business forum is a good start for a sustainable and fruitful trade and co-operation development between the two countries, he said.

    According to Gacemi Rachid, general director of the Algerian Exhibitions and Fairs Company (SAFEX), very few Vietnamese businesses join exhibitions and fairs to introduce their products to Algerian consumers while businesses from China, Thailand and the Republic of Korea have done this well. He said that there are about 60 exhibitions and trade fairs in Algeria a year and urged Vietnamese businesses to join. He also urged Vietnamese businesses to promote exports of agricultural products such as tea, coffee, spices, construction materials, and especially, labour to Algeria.

    Vu Quoc Loc, import and export manager of Ha Long Building Materials Company in Ho Chi Minh City said his company is considering investing in a clinker grinding factory in Algeria. Algeria and Vietnam has a good traditional bilateral relations and the country has a favourable geographical conditions. In addition, Algeria has issued various favourable investment incentives. By penetrating into Algerian market, his company can boost access to other markets in the continent which currently has a great demand for construction materials.

    The Vietnam-Algeria Business Forum was jointly organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Algerian Embassy in Hanoi on the occasion of the visit to Vietnam by Minister Benbada, who is President of the Algeria-Vietnam Inter-Governmental Committee. The same forum is scheduled for December 22 in Ho Chi Minh City.

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    Algiers, August 17, 2007 (VNA) - Officials from the Vietnamese railways sector eyed experiences on railway repair and electrification, and the development of express railways from their Algerian partners during their visit to the country from August 11-17.

    In Algeria, Khuat Minh Tri, Head of the railways trade union, and entourage had a working session with Algerian counterparts on ways to boost their cooperation.

    The Vietnamese officials also made tours of branches of the Algeria railways sector which are in the capital of Algiers and provinces of Oran and Motstaganem.

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    March 28, 2008 -- Labour exports agencies are working hard to access new markets for workers in an effort to cope with emerging difficulties from traditional markets.

    In regard to Africa, Commercial Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy to Egypt Dang Ngoc Quang said Israel and Sudan are proving to be potential markets, while Libya and Lebanon have already received Vietnamese workers.

    Sudanese enterprises have offered contracts for agricultural workers to labour export agencies, including opportunities for Vietnamese farmers to work on leased land.

    The Construction Services and Labour Cooperation Company (OLECO) recently reached principal conditions with Israeli partners on contracts for agricultural workers based on what they call a “resident student” formula. This means contracted farmers will not only be paid high allowances but also participate in on-the-spot classes and gain practical experience in advanced agricultural technology from Israel, a world leader in the field.

    The International Labour and Services Supply Company (Inmasco) is also recruiting a large number of civil engineering experts to work in Algeria through a contract with a Japanese business.

    Inmasco’s Deputy Director Le Thanh Ha said partners have made numerous requests for engineers but the company has received just a small number of applications so far.

    “We are negotiating with partners for a larger range of labour targets. It should not be limited to degree holders but be expanded to mid-level college graduates,” he said.

    Singapore is another opening market with an increased number of electronics companies and service agencies looking for Vietnamese workers.

    The Labour and Expert Export Company (Suleco) has won a contract to supply 70 guest workers with salaries ranging from 14 to 18 million VND a month, the highest official payments to Vietnamese guest workers in Asian markets so far.

    Over the past two months, more than 15,760 workers have been sent abroad on labour contracts, mostly to the traditional markets of Taiwan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

    However, several problems have arisen in traditional markets, such as a cut in labour quotas.

    Labour export agencies are also looking to high-demanding markets such as France, Australia, Canada and the US. However, the need for qualifications, specialised skills, foreign language and work experience is difficult for the majority of the Vietnamese workforce to meet.

    Vietnam has set a target to send 85,000 workers abroad this year.

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