Agriculture has become an important contributor to Algeria's socio-economic development. After hydrocarbons, agriculture is the country's second-largest GDP contributor, at around 10%, with 25% of the population employed in the sector. Self-sufficiency with regard to fruit, vegetables and meat has been achieved while cereal, milk production and fishing have been expanded. Algeria is also transitioning gradually from a net importer of agricultural goods into an exporting economy by focusing on the promotion of those particular goods that have a comparative advantage, such as dates, wine and olives. The agricultural sector is working on raising the standards up to international norms and a new framework for exports is in the process of being constructed.

The liberalization of the Algerian economy policy started in 1994 and the reform of the regulations on investment have produced remarkable results in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), despite the widespread fall of investment overseas in Africa, Algeria has received a steady flow of investment reaching over 100 billion $.

  • New approach to agricultural policy : The three pillars of the policy Agricultural and Rural Renewal, desired as an instrument for the realization of food sovereignty, has three complementary components:
    • agricultural Renewal;
    • rural renewal;
    • human capacity development and technical support to the producers.

 

  • Main asset of Algerian agriculture: 
    • wide diversity of agricultural and climatic environments;
    • slight recourse to chemicals;
    • big market (local and close to external markets: Mediterranean basin, African countries);
    • possibility to put in the market:
    • a vast range of products;
    • high quality products even organic.

 

  • Incentive measures:
    • Introduction of seasonal credit “R'fig” the amount of which, granted to grain farmers exceeded 17 billion DA;
    • Allocation of subsidized loans amounting to 01 million dinars per hectare  for land development and the creation of farms not exceeding 10 ha;
    • Allocation of subsidized loans of up to hundred million dinars (100 million DA) for concessionaires operating profit of over 10 hectares and any other beneficiary of the “credit Ettahadi”;
    • Establishment of a guarantee scheme for bank loans to farmers. 

 

The Algerian industrial sector (excluding oil) is made up of steel, chemicals and petrochemicals (fertilizers, plastics, pharmaceuticals), as well as a major food industry (wine, olive oil), textiles (tradition of manufacturing carpets) and mechanical (trucks, agricultural machinery).

The industrial public sector is the subject of a privatization program set up in the mid-1990's. The implementation of this program has really begun in the early 2000, in a context where the improvement in the political situation made the Algerian market more attractive to foreign investors. Thus, the Government has adopted a strategy for industrial development, which objectives are:

  • the development of industrial activities beyond the national market;
  • It must be part of a broader strategy which aims to make our country a competitive efficient, through the transformation of the economic system and a significant development of infrastructure and human resources;
  • It must be based on the benefits of natural resources available in Algeria;
  • Widespread innovation, through the mobilization of foreign direct investment due to its importance in the transfer and mastery of technology.

Also, among the measures that should be taken for the implementation of this new strategy, the privatization of more than 200 Public Companies (EPA) of existing 1400.

In this connection, it should be recalled that the private industrial sector consists mainly of Small and Medium Enterprises whose number is estimated at 200,000.

Broadly speaking, the industrial sector has several opportunities for foreign investors and especially in the sector of the automotive industry which is still virgin, except the assembling of some type of heavyweight vehicles. Besides, with a fleet of more than 3 million vehicles, Algeria presents opportunities in the manufacture of automotive equipment.

Food industry is one of the largest industrial sector in Algeria, private companies generally dominate the food sector in Algeria. 

  • Strong potential and opportunities that need to be seized;
  • A strong demand for agribusiness products;
  • Food makes up 45% of Algerian households’ expenditure;
  • Algeria ranks 3rd worldwide for milk and dairy product imports;
  • The Food Industry: 2nd industry in the country after the oil industry;
  • The Algerian food industry makes up 40% of national industrial turnover;
  • The sector is 95% private;

 

Distribution / Food service

  • The majority of distributers are private companies;
  • Grocery stores and small supermarkets are spread out evenly in the country;
  • Approximately 8,000 traditional restaurants, 18,000 fast food companies and 600 bars;

In the electric, electronic and home appliances industry Algeria has made a great leap in the field. The Algerian region Bordj-Bou-Arreridj is the biggest electronic pole in Africa, local companies cover 83% of it needs and export other products, Algeria started producing some 100% homemade electronic product including smartphones, tablets, TV, TV decoders, air conditioning products ... At least 16 big companies are active in the field.

 

The activities of the pharmaceutical sector include:

  • Manufacturing;
  • Packaging;
  • Importer wholesalers;
  • Wholesale distributors;
  • Retail distributors (pharmacy and others). 

Drug national market in Algeria is limited to a small proportion of drug nomenclature. Over a nomenclature of 1400 drugs, the national production covers 310 (among which 60% are vital such as antibiotics, hormone-based drugs…), that is to say 22% of this nomenclature.

Moreover, imports of Algeria pharmaceuticals totalled 1.967 billion dollars during the year 2011 against 492.53 million dollars in 2001.

The number of registered projects for the period 2002-2012 in the pharmaceutical industry is 130 projects  

Metallurgy includes a wide range of industrial activities:

  • Extraction of ore and first conversion (mineralurgy);
  • Recycling of metals;
  • Foundry (blast furnaces and refining);
  • Manufacturing of raw products by rolling mill;
  • Transformation of raw products into semi-finished products: sheet metals, thin sheets, tubes, moulded parts…
  • Manufacturing of material and finished products for the industry, building and transport.

The metallurgical industry is organised around three (3) main specialities:

  • Production of steel;
  • Production of nonferrous and non precious metals such as aluminium;
  • Production of precious metal.

 

Steel consumption is the determining parameter in the evaluation of the market of metallurgical industry sub-sector and metal work. Concerning Algeria, steel consumption (import and local production) is mainly intended to:

  • Important projects;
  • Civil engineering works;
  • Construction of industrial, commercial and house buildings.

Rubber and plastics industries includes companies whose main activity is to manufacture products through treatment according to technological processes.  The most common being in Algeria, for plastic, the extrusion and injection moulding.

New techniques appeared and they are more or less applied in Algeria (blowing, calendering, foaming expansion, roto-moulding, thermoforming…)

Rubber or plastic processing activities are gathered in the same sub-sector because technical properties of these two polymers are similar.

The sub-sector in Algeria remains slightly developed, namely in industrial subcontracting market which requires specific and/or elaborated products, subject to standards (namely for spare parts and other industrial components.)

At the same time, there are around 300 subcontractors in the motor industry working with “Société Nationale des Véhicules Industriels” integrating the sector of mechanics which has a turnover of 32 billion DZD and 16 000 posts.

Globally 2/3 of raw materials are imported. Additives are totally imported and their prices incorporate an important value. The consumption of plastics is 1 million of tons/year.

The textile and clothing sector is varied and heterogeneous, covering a wide range of activities:

  • The production of a wide variety of products such as synthetic yarn (acrylic, polyamide ...) or natural (wool, silk ...)
  • Weaving;
  • Ennobling (dyeing, printing);
  • Confection (furniture and clothing). 

A market which is currently around 2 billion dollars, of which 10% held by domestic firms. A restructuring plan exists to increase the turnover of this sector to 38.5 billion dinars in 2014, against 26.4 billion in 2009, representing an annual growth rate of 10%, and has mobilized in a first stage on investment of 8.2 billion dinars for the upgrading of production facilities of some companies.

Algeria is one of the world’s top ten producers of both oil and natural gas.  Existing upstream and midstream infrastructure is aging and inadequate to meet Algeria’s near-term production goals.  We expect new investment in these areas, particularly as new undersea gas pipelines to Europe are constructed as well as investment in offshore exploration. In addition to the existing traditional fuels, Algeria has the world’s third largest reserves of recoverable shale gas resources (19.8 trillion m3) spread in 7 regions throughout the Sahara. A new hydrocarbon law was enacted in March 2013 to encourage foreign investments in unconventional gas exploration and exploitation. To meet the increasing growth in domestic consumption, Algeria is planning to invest USD 120 billion by 2030 in renewable energies.

Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the Arab world with a total landmass of 2.38 million sq. km. The country is rich in natural resources. An “OPEC” member, Algeria has the tenth-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world and is the sixth-largest gas exporter. It also ranks 16th in proven oil reserves. Thanks to strong hydrocarbon revenues, Algeria has a cushion of USD 160 billion in foreign currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon stabilization fund, though the balances of both have fallen since 2013 as a result of declining oil and gas prices. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about two percent of GDP. Algeria is still largely unexplored and there are opportunities for foreign firms to invest in joint ventures to find new deposits. State-owned national oil company Sonatrach, the largest company in Africa, owns roughly 80 percent of total hydrocarbon production in Algeria, while International Oil Companies (IOCs) account for the remaining 20%.

Algeria is a large natural gas producer with 2.9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry natural gas produced in 2011. Algeria also possesses vast untapped shale gas resources, with an estimated 700 Tcf of technically recoverable shale gas resources, the third-largest in the world. Sonatrach has signed several cooperation agreements with IOCs to develop unconventional resources, with particular focus on shale gas, but also to assess technical and commercial feasibility. Algeria is also a large oil producer with 12.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. All of the proven oil reserves are held onshore, though interest in offshore exploration is increasing. 

According to Sonatrach, about two-thirds of Algerian territory remains unexplored or largely underexplored. Most of these areas are in the north and offshore. 

Despite the sharp decline in oil prices since July 2014, Sonatrach has declared that it will maintain its investment plans with USD 18 to 23 billion in annual outlays, with a focus on upstream exploration, production and oil reservoir activities.  

Algeria’s domestic electric power consumption increased by an annual average of about 7% for more than a decade.  However, since 2010, year-on-year demand has grown by almost 20%. The GoA has brought additional capacity on line to keep up with the pace of domestic demand. “Soneglaz”, the state-owned public utility company, has embarked on large scale plans to boost capacity by 8,000 megawatts (MW) by 2017 through the construction of eight new natural gas-fired power plants. Although the country will continue to rely on natural gas as a feedstock in the short-to-medium term, the government recently unveiled plans to diversify its electric grid with renewable energy. 

To satisfy its domestic energy demand, Algeria is extremely reliant on hydrocarbons, nearly exclusively natural gas. The government plans to introduce renewable energy into the local power market to save volumes of natural gas for export to finance the national economy. As a result, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program, adopted in 2011, aims to produce up to 40 percent of domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by 2030.  The Renewable Energy program places a large emphasis on solar power because its potential far outstrips that for wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower. The program’s stated goal is to achieve 37 percent of national electricity production from solar energy by 2030, with three percent from wind-powered plants. 

Sub-Sector best Prospects:

  • Oil and gas 3D seismic exploration technologies;
  • Oil and gas rig and well services technologies;
  • Real time oil and gas well data collection and data treatment ;
  • Oil and gas refinery instrumentation and EPC; 
  • Oil and gas solid waste management technologies ;
  • Smart grid distribution management ;
  • Power generation quality control management ;
  • Photovoltaic and solar energy technologies.

 

Opportunities:

In January 2013, the parliament approved the introduction of fiscal incentives to attract foreign companies and encourage them to take on new ventures, particularly in offshore exploration shale gas. The Algerian government has expressed the importance of involving foreign partners to increase oil and gas reserves and explore new territories. Algeria opened a new set of oil and gas fields to international bidders in January 2014. The tender, launched by Algeria's state-owned oil licensing body, Alnaft, covered 33 concessions.

Sonatrach also plans to boost refinery output by expanding the capacity at coastal refineries in Skikda, Arzew, and Algiers by a combined 82,000 barrels per day. In addition, the company recently made public its plans to build four new refineries in Biskra, Tiaret, Ghardaia, and Hassi Messaoud by 2018.

The renewable energy program aims to install 22,000 MW of power generating capacity from renewable sources by 2030, of which 10,000 MW would be dedicated to export. Installed renewable power capacity is expected to reach 650 MW by the end of 2015, 2,600 MW by 2020 and 22,000 MW by 2030. 

The many works achieved to date helped to identify and inventory the presence of mineralization following: Precious metals: Gold, Silver Precious and semi-precious stones: diamonds, topaz, beryl ... Base metals: Zinc, lead, copper, The platinum group elements (PGE) (platinum, palladium, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium) and Nickel-Cobalt Rare metals: tungsten, tin, tantalum, niobium, beryllium, Industrial minerals: phosphate, barite, bentonite, diatomite, magnesite, perlite, pozzolan, ornamental rocks, talc, gypsum, silica sand, etc.

These work carried out by mining research, on behalf of the State, helped highlight several deposits having totaled:

  • 3 billion tons of iron ore,
  • 2000 000 000 tonnes of phosphates,
  • More than 1 billion tons of salt,
  • Over 100 Mln t Pb / Zn,
  • More than 100 tons of gold,
  • 24 Mln t WO3 / Sn,
  • 1.4 Mln t manganese
  • 6.3 Mln t Celestine,
  • 22 Mln t barite,
  • 6.5 Mlnt kieselguhr,
  • 7 Mln t feldspar ... ..

To develop the Algerian mining sector and enable it to play a more substantial role in economic and social development of the country at the height of its geological and mineral potential, the Ministry of Industry and Mines (MIM) decided to mobilize the necessary resources and means to achieve namely :

  • Valorization all mineral resources in a sustainable development perspective;
  • Encouragement of partnership in mining investment;
  • Development of large projects of Gara Djebilet Iron and transformation of phosphates, salt, marble, polymetal;
  • The increase in production of under-exploited mineral resources;
  • Development of mining industry performance processing;
  • Satisfying the needs of the national economy by exporting minerals and the generated surpluses;
  • Capacity building and modernization of public enterprises production tools;
  • Mine staff training at the Algerian Institute of Mines and the “Ecole des Métiers” from El Abed Mine.

Algerians are increasingly tech-savvy and interested in technology and know-how transfer in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Government ministries are also interested in process modernization and the digitization of record-keeping. Home Internet penetration rates remain below 10 percent, but business Internet usage is estimated at over 40 percent. Mobile phones (GSM) are commonplace, and Algeria is looking toward fourth-generation technology. Other services, such as GPS-based technology, also show potential. 

Algeria has deployed and is expanding 3G services and is preparing soon to move to 4G.  Algeria is also seriously considering deployment of a country-wide optic fiber network to provide high quality, reliable, fast and cost effective telephony and Internet services.  The public telephone utility is expected to solicit tenders soon. 

  • Sub-Sector best Prospect :
    • Mobile phones and accessories ;
    • Mobile phone add-on services ;
    • Business-to-business information management and strategies;
    • Internet connectivity and backbone equipment and services;
    • GPS-related technology and services;
    • Optic fiber network and services;
    • E-business, 3 and 4G.

 

  • Opportunities:

Several key government ministries have started the process of modernizing and digitizing their records, including the tax authority. These are large undertakings, requiring various consultative and solutions-based services. 

      Government agencies are also providing increasing amounts of information on the Web and need Web-based information management services. 

The government has simultaneously focused on roadways, rail systems, airport upgrades, public housing, hospital construction, water treatment, transportation, and electrification as part of a USD286 billion infrastructure development program. In this regard, there are a lot of opportunities.

The healthcare sector continues to be a relatively attractive market. Demand for medical equipment and disposals is considerable and depends largely on imported goods. The population’s standard of living is improving, albeit slowly.  There has been an increased incidence in reporting of hypertension, diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and allergies.

Best prospects:

Algerians are increasingly conscious of cutting-edge medical services, such as laser corrective eye surgeries, panoramic dental radiology, and plastic surgery 

  • Medical equipment and supplies, including diagnostics, imagery and laboratory equipment;
  • Hospital and outpatient clinic design and construction services;
  • Hospital and medical office administration software and solutions;
  • Low-intensity cosmetic surgery.

Opportunities:

The new construction throughout Algeria over the next decade of 172 public hospitals, 377 private clinics, 45 specialized heath units and 70 centres focusing on people with disabilities will increase demand for medical equipment and supplies, as well as medical construction services. Algerians increasingly turn to private clinics for outpatient care. Opportunities will increase for the design and management of such facilities and for sales of cutting-edge diagnostics and treatment equipment. Cosmetic surgery is not yet common, but consumer interest is rising.

Although Algeria is such a tourist attraction, with a varied and rich natural landscape, sea, mountains, desert and the ruins; ancient (Tassili); roman (such as Tipaza, Timgad), and Muslim (Casbah, mosques), the tourism sector remains virgin in Algeria.

In recent years, the Government had a growing interest in politics tourism due to its potential for job creating.

It is an integral part of National Scheme of Town Planning (SNAT 2025) and strategic framework of reference for tourism policy of Algeria through which the State:

  • Shows its tourism development vision at different temporal horizons either in the short time (2009), in the middle time (2015) and in the long time (2025) in the framework of sustainable development in order to make Algeria a receiving country;
  • Defines means of its implementation and specifies conditions of its feasibility;
  • Insures in a sustainable development framework, the triple balance of social equity, economic efficiency and ecological protection;
  • Promotes natural, cultural and historical potential of the country and put them at the disposal of tourism in Algeria in order to push it to the rank of destination of excellence in the euro-Mediterranean region.

Thus, it specifies for the whole country and each party of the national territory, the strategic directions of tourism development within the framework of a sustainable development.

The finance sector presents enormous opportunities for foreign investors. Its opening to the private sector at the beginning of the nineties has lead to the installation of banks including Arab and French.

In its reform policy, the Government has committed itself to modernize the financial sector and one of the measures taken in this respect is the privatization of some state banks.

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