On the visit of Turkey’s president to Algeria, today, we have assessed both countries’ commercial and various other exchanges between them.

Algeria is one of the leading trading partners of Turkey’s ranking 32nd in terms of volume and Turkey is one of Algeria’s top ten external trading partners.

Trade between the two countries reached almost $5bn, that is without taking into account all that  informal trading.

According to the World Bank, the Domestic Product Gross (GDP) of Turkey in 2016 was US $863 billion for a population of about 80 million, whereas, Algeria’s was $156 billion for a population of about 41 million inhabitants.

We have on the one hand a diversified productive economy with a primacy of the private sector and on the other, a mainly oil and gas dominated rentier economy.

Trade exchanges between Algeria and Turkey were up to $5 billion in 2012. The volume of Trade between Algeria and Turkey reached in year 2015, $4.107 billion, according to figures of the Algerian Customs. In 2016, according to the same Customs statistics, sales of Algeria to Turkey consisted mainly of hydrocarbons with $1.23 billion or 4.27% and imports represented $1.93 billion or 4.14% or a total $3.16 billion. In 2017, we witnessed a slight progress where according to the Customs statistics, exports for the first nine months in 2017 were from $1.35 billion and imports $1.51 billion, finishing by end of 2017 at about $3.5 billion.

All this data must be placed within the context of the respective exchanges between the two countries.

Turkey’s imports of goods were $198.16 billion with services of more than $22.21 billion or a total of $220.37 billion.  Exports were $142.55 billion worth of goods plus $37.63 billion for services giving a total of $189.18.

As far as Algeria is concerned, in 2016, imports of goods were $48 billion and $47 in 2017 with about $10 million for services. Exports of goods and services in 2016 were $29 billion and $34 in 2017.

As a matter of fact, the amount of trade as reported between both countries that is worth three to four billion Dollars in total imports-exports would look relatively modest, to say the least. Yet, there are innumerable opportunities for an intensified cooperation.

Currently, Turkish businesses hold contracts and projects in Algeria worth more than $6bn with about 796 Turkish companies, employing more than 28,000 people, are present in Algeria, activating particularly in the building, infrastructure and public works industry with also in certain projects in the textile industry.

But, there is need to recognize that as per the responsible leaders of both countries having already expressed their commitment to give new impetus to bilateral relations, particularly in the fields of tourism, agriculture, certain industrial segments and renewable energies, they also agreed, in this context, to seize the opportunity of holding the next session of the bilateral joint commission to further implement these cooperative actions. As far as we reckon, this is far from the potential of either countries.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the picture above is from TSA Algerie of February 26th, 2018