The Algerian Forum of Business Leaders must activate from within the regional trade institutions . . .

The Forum of the Business Leaders’ “laboratory of ideas” according to its statutes is a commendable initiative. But in order for its actions in the future not to be denatured by the proponents of the ‘rentier’ economy, and to achieve tangible results of the contribution of industry to the national recovery, and not sporadic ones, a strategic approach, sticking with local and international realities is vitally required.

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1 – The structures that seem to be more suitable for creating regional dynamism are definitely the regional Chambers of Commerce.   These could comprise several homogeneous governorates of a region, as I emphasized in the recent past, from an interesting experiment on eco-centres in the USA.  Similar institutional structures are found in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and China (1).

The actions of the Business Leaders Forum (FBL), whilst hoping for all members’ convergence of views, must contribute from within this framework as it happens in all developed and emerging countries. That is if the FBL is after leading towards concrete results, and not waste of energy and time.  These regional structures would gather all State, Public / Private on-going concerns, banks, professional training centres and universities / research centres, etc. (2).

The actions of the Chambers of Commerce; preferable as is their vocation that is not only for consultation only but rather for the impetus towards the realization of projects, should be quadruple, hence :

  • Firstly, boosting basic infrastructural development and prepare sites entrusted to public and private real estate agencies for promotions.
  • Secondly, putting at the disposal of corporations a skilled workforce through a system of training that is efficient and scalable ranging from engineers, managers, specialized technicians, with university centres and research centres, avoiding this myth of one University for each governorate. Dynamic learning is a human capital for future companies that would move in a region; companies paying taxes that would cover all invested capital in advanced training.  This training should be adapted to take account of quality assurance standard; the quality label is a definite requirement for any exporter to Europe, America, or Asia and Africa.  We might thus see a symbiosis between the University and Business, because of the inherent need of companies for access to researchers, laboratories for tests of experimentation and the University needs corporations as financial support.  Also, this would allow students living the dialectic between theory and practice.
  • The third action would be to promote flexible companies based on mobility and individual initiatives.  Tests have shown that personal initiative, for certain products, can save some equipment (so to have lesser depreciation in the cost structure) and to reduce say a process of seven 7 minutes (420 seconds) down to 45 seconds or save time by more than 90% therefore improving the productivity.  This is what is called self-directed teams’ work.
  • The fourth action is that the Chamber of Commerce would intensify trade flows through the different experiences between regions of the country and abroad and the development of tables of prospective regional, towards 2016, 2020 and 2030.  The provision for future investors in all of the necessary amenities and services (commercial, leisure networks) benefits is fundamental.

This symbiosis between these various structures and certain segments of civil society should lead to fundamental forward looking analyses, to a dashboard of guidance for future activities in the region, in order to facilitate the arrival of investors.

2 – If excessive centralization, is a favourite procedure of authoritarian governance model, governance by Decree, i.e. through the use of force and authoritative top-down management away from facing up to the real needs of the populations.  Historical experience show clearly that this might have been necessary in a first phase, but having reached quickly its limits, the system in those countries that have developed real decentralization and in which synchronizing local and central governance with a strategic role for the regulatory role for the State in a competitive market, have been most successful development.

These actions must fit within the framework of both governmental reorganization around large ministries into departments such as those that include those of Economy / Education / Scientific Research centres, as well as all those territorially based economic regionalization (regional socio-economic hubs including universities and scientific research centres).

Let us learn from the lessons of all these social tensions that manifest themselves through most of the Algerian provinces and go to a real decentralization involving local stakeholders, existing dialectical link between security and development, as on multidimensional, so as to not contain them only to economics and material bureaucratic vision of the past which would be a serious political development mistake.

The multitude of employers’ organisations often with leadership rivalries, as indeed all those unions, does certainly not favour the emergence of a responsible private sector, some being driven by the sharing of the rentier revenues that goes down not always nicely anyway.

The action of the FBL must surely be best to activate from within the regional Chambers of Commerce and be the privileged interlocutor of the Government.

Dr. Abderrahmane Mebtoul, University Professor, Expert International,  ademmebtoul@gmail.com

Translation from French by Microsoft / FaroL  faro@farolco.onmicrosoft.com

Notes :

(1) – Regional invigoration and poles of excellence (Greenville, USA experience – contribution of Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul 2007-11-29 (www.google.com), writing that followed my tour in the USA notably in South Carolina and where later I commented the Governors / Government meeting in November 2007.

(2) – Book of Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul on Market Economy, Good Governance and Rule of Law in Arabic-English and French, Edition Dar Gharb, 2002 (140 pages each volume) or has highlighted in the respective roles of the State and the Market – and collective book under the direction of the Pr. Abderrahmane Mebtoul “Issues and Challenges of Algeria of 2004 facing the challenges of globalization” published on Casbah Editions Algiers May 2004 2 volumes 500 pages with academics and economic practitioners such as Pr Pr Chouam Bouchama, Economist, Pr Mohamed Taibi, Sociologist-Anthropologist, Dr. Mohamed Sabri, Political Scientist, Boutlelis Araf, Manager, Pr Youcef Ikhlef, Political sciences where a full chapter was devoted to the management of the local communities of which a majority of our recommendations of the Minister of the Interior in 2016 picked up our proposals in 2004 , as well as a contribution on the site www.google.com (last quarter 2014) at the time when I advised the Government to set up an independent crisis committee.

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