Liberte Algerie informs in its publication of today May 12th, that a business forum will be arranged in Algiers on May 22nd, 2016 with the Participation of 90 firms of the United Kingdom . . . This major economic event is meant for strengthening economic relations between the two countries.   It will be organised by the Algeria-UK Investment Forum .

90 UK companies are anticipated to participate with amongst them include DLA Piper, Tell group, Clark Energy, Petrofac, Red Med Group, Sarens, AMEC Foster Wheeler, De La Rue.

The British firms interested in business related to finance, oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure, ICT and business law would want to conclude agreements in areas such as health, finance and energy.   The visit of Lord Risby, as representative of the British government to the event was announced.   The objective would be for the possible strengthening of the economic relationships between the two countries,   there will also be Tobias Ellwood, a member of the British government in charge of the MENA region and Lady Olga Maintland, Chairperson of the Algerian-British Business Council (ABBC).   Discussions between senior officials of the two countries will notavly include an agreement on double taxation arrangements.  The Algerians will be represented by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Industry.

The ABBC by the way, has been, and still is, a key player as the UK seeks to promote and develop the business relationship between the UK and Algeria.  They have introduced major companies into Algeria, covering sectors ranging from telecoms, training, health, tourism, construction, agriculture, defence, energy, financial services including insurance and banking. They escorted many trade missions and visited many local algerian governorates with British companies, as well as taken part in Algerian trade fairs and conferences.

It is to be noted that several British companies have settled in recent years.  These include for example Astra Zeneca, Moore Stephens, Regus, G4S.   Others would want and seek to operate in Algeria such as Clyde and Co, Elara Capital, Green Venture Capital, etc.   The British multinationals that are present for several years in Algeria include BP, Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Glaxo Smith Kline, Biwater, Jaguar Land Rover.   For the United Kingdom, Algeria is the second largest market in North Africa after Egypt and the fourth market in Africa.

Trade however is still very modest.  As a matter of fact, the United Kingdom exported to Algeria for only £529 million in 2013.   These sales consisted mainly of transports material and equipment, vehicles, machinery, steel, and chemicals.

These trade exchanges have increased in recent years and investments have incremented substantially, these do nevertheless match the ambition of the two countries to build together a large economic partnership.

The event may be an opportunity for the strengthening of relations between the two countries.   Both sides will need to put a larger effort :  for starters, the Algerians will need an improvement in the climate of business, and for the British part, many more initiatives, in particular in industrial investments.