3rd Algeria Economic Forum

The third Algeria Economic Forum was held on 20 and 21 January 2008 at the beautiful beachfront Algiers Sheraton Hotel. The forum is organized by the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, under the patronage of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The Algeria Economic Forum included the participation of Algerian, Arab and foreign officials along with leading Algerian, Arab and international representatives from the world of business, finance, investment funds and institutions.

Algeria is in the process of launching a 150 billion US Dollar three-year economic, social and services development program which will open up many opportunities for local and foreign investors in a number of fields. Already in the past few years Algeria has seen an influx of large investment groups from the Gulf regions of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia. Projects that are benefiting from foreign investment include real estate development, telecommunications, infrastructure, industry, banking and tourism.

The Algeria Economic Forum covered several topics for discussion. These topics included the effect of international conventions on investment; the overview of economic and reform programs; the role that the private sector plays as a partner in development; privatization projects and their resulting opportunities as well as an overview of international and Arab investment participation.

The government of Algeria is encouraging major international investment in the country with the goal of restructuring the economy in such a way as to diversify and not to be overly dependent on oil. To achieve this goal the Algerian government is increasing public spending in order to stimulate investment. A goal of seven percent annual economic growth over the next decade has been suggested in order to give a firm foundation to the Algerian economy. The focus will be on sustainable job creation and alleviating the current rate of unemployment which is mainly affecting the country’s youth. In line with keeping the country progressive, Algeria is a member of the United Nations, Arab League, African Union and Opec, as well as having contributed towards the establishment of the Arab Maghreb Union.

Building on the success of previous Algeria Economic Forums held in July 2000 and April 2002, there is every reason to believe that the 2008 Algeria Economic Forum will achieve its goals, to the benefit of all participants.