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United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024

United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024

AP — DUBAI reports that A top official in the United Arab Emirates said Tuesday his country plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024. A successful mission to the moon would be a major step for the oil-dependent economy seeking a future in space. It sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station last year. The UAE also has set a goal to build a human colony on Mars by 2117. And there is a plan for The United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024.

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Stars in its eyes, UAE celebrates its first astronaut in space

by Shatha Yaish

The picture above is that of A boy waves the Emirati flag in front of a picture of an astronaut outside Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai ahead of the launch of a Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft in Kazakhstan carrying the first Arab astronaut to the ISS.

A crowd in Dubai erupted in cheers and applause Wednesday as the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates launched towards the International Space Station, dubbing him a national hero.

Emiratis and school children gathered at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre as Hazzaa al-Mansoori, 35, blasted into space accompanied by Russia’s Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir onboard a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

A former pilot in the UAE armed forces, he will be the first Emirati astronaut and the first Arab on the orbiting laboratory, but not the first Muslim.

Some people gathered at the Dubai centre carried UAE flags, while others were dressed in blue jumpsuits spelling out: “Future astronaut”.

Badriya al-Hamadi, 38, said she was so proud of the historical moment, adding: “I feel like I am the one going to space.”

According to Amer Al-Ghafri, of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Mansoori’s launch is only just the beginning of the UAE’s dreams of space exploration.

“There are a lot of ambitions and a lot more work,” he said.

Mansoori received support from around the world before lifting off on what he described as his “dream” mission.

He will spend eight days on the ISS, where he plans to conduct experiments.

The United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024
And there is a plan for The United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024Cheers erupted as the crowd in Dubai watched the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft lift off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying 35-year-old Emirati astronaut Hazzaa al-Mansoori to spend eight days aboard the International Space Station
‘Next stop Mars’

Writing on Twitter before the launch, Mansoori said he was “filled with this indescribable feeling of glory and awe”.

“Today I carry the dreams and ambition of my country to a whole new dimension. May Allah grant me success in this mission,” he said.

A Koran, a UAE flag, pictures of his family, and a book by Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum were among the few things he was allowed to pack for his space adventure.

Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, lit up the moment of blast-off at 5:57pm local time (1357 GMT).

Sheikh Mohammed, also the UAE’s vice president and prime minister, vowed in 2017 to send four Emirati astronauts to the space station within five years.

“The arrival of Hazzaa al-Mansoori to space is a message to the Arab youth… that we can progress and move forward,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Our next stop is Mars.”

The United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024
The UAE aims to become the first Arab nation to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars by 2021, naming it ‘Hope’
Talent in the UAE

The astronaut programme would make the UAE one of only a handful of states in the Middle East to have sent a person into space, as it looks to make good on a pledge to become a global leader in space exploration.

The first Arab in outer space was Saudi Arabia’s Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, who flew on a US shuttle mission in 1985.

Two years later, Syrian air force pilot Muhammed Faris spent a week aboard the Soviet Union’s Mir space station.

As part of its space plans, the UAE has also announced its aim to become the first Arab country to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars by 2021, naming it “Hope”.

In the long-term, it says it is planning to build a “Science City” to replicate life on Mars and aims to create the first human settlement on the red planet by 2117.

But already, Emiratis believe they have shown the world what they can do.

“We have talent here in the UAE, and now the world will see that,” said Fatima Al-Ghurair at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre.

Geostrategic Gas Tensions in the Mediterranean

Geostrategic Gas Tensions in the Mediterranean

At a time, when important issues are being raised and out of the ordinary tensions are taking place concerning gas fields, Algeria faces geostrategic gas tensions in the Mediterranean.  It is, in particular, the tensions between Greece and Turkey, challenging it where its primary gas market is, in Europe, and whose hydrocarbons with derivatives provide 98% of foreign exchange revenues in 2019, where the price of gas disposal has fallen by more than 75% in 10 years and providing 33% of its SONATRACH’s revenues. Here is an analysis of options for this unprecedented east Mediterranean situation as seen from Algeria.

Between 2018/2019, according to the IEA we have the following distribution 33.1% of oil, 27.0% coal, 24.2% natural gas, 4.3% nuclear and 11.5% renewable energy (hydropower 6.5%, wind 2.2%, biomass and geothermal 1.0%, solar 1.1%, agrofuels 0.7%). 

Natural gas pockets lie beneath the Earth’s surface and consist mainly of methane and other hydrocarbons. It is mainly used for electricity generation, heating and as cooking. Gas can also be used for air conditioning, lighting and as an alternative fuel for vehicles. It is considered one of the cleanest fossil fuels because it emits less carbon (about 50% less than coal) and other pollutants such as sulphur oxides and nitrogen. We have two types of natural gas on the market: natural gas and liquefied natural gas. 

Natural gas is derived from fossil fuels and is made up of decomposing organic matter that has been released into the soil for millions of years and is routed through pipes. We have liquefied natural gas as far as it is a natural gas that has been changed to a liquid state so that it can be transported and stored more easily. Because natural gas deposits are often far removed from many consumers of this energy, transporting it in a gaseous state is risky and expensive.

Also and by cooling it, it is possible to transform it into liquid natural gas, There are two main markets on which the world’s natural gas is traded. The most important is the NYMEX or New York Mercantile Exchange located in the United States, and the second, the NBP or National Balancing Point of the International Petroleum Exchange located in London. There are other smaller markets such as the FTT in the Netherlands or The Zeebrugge in Belgium. Between 2018/2019, before the coronavirus outbreak, according to Cedigaz, demand increased, strengthening its place in the energy mix. In 2018, international LNG represented a provisionally estimated volume of 311 Mt, according to Cedigaz, up 8.5% from 2017. LNG now accounts for more than a third of gas trade, with growth in LNG imports concentrated in Northeast Asia (China and South Korea), where gas plays an increased role in electricity generation and heating. China contributes the most to the growth in global LNG demand, with more than 60% of the total increase in trade.

Proven world reserves on a total of 197.394 billion cubic meters of gas (data from 2018/2019) we have in descending order: Russia 47,800 billion cubic meters, Iran 33,500, Qatar 24,300, USA 8,714, Saudi Arabia 8,602, Turkmenistan 6061, Venezuela 5702, Nigeria 5,284, and China 5,194 and for Algeria between 2500 and 3000 according to the statement of the current Minister of Energy before his appointment and the communiqué of the Council of Ministers of 2014, the data of 4500 being those of BP of the years 2000. The top 10 countries producing natural gas in descending order are. Russia alone accounts for 20% of world natural gas production. It is also the largest exporter, second with the shale gas revolution becoming an exporter in Europe, the United States of America, followed by Canada (third place) and Qatar fourth, with Iran downgraded following US sanctions, followed by Norway, China, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria, which ranked ninth. These data should be interpreted with caution because thousands of deposits can be discovered, but not profitable according to financial standards depending on operating costs and the evolution of the international price itself depending on the demand and competition of substitutable energies As for some experts who speak of an OPEC gas market in the image of OPEC oil, it should be stressed that the gas market is not in this month of August 2020, a global market  but a market segmented by geographical areas  while the oil market is homogeneous, due to the preponderance of pipelines, being impossible to meet the same criteria, the solution being cooperation within the FPEG which consists of 11 member countries (5 in Africa (Algeria , Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Nigeria) – 2 in the Middle East (Iran, Qatar);  3 in South America (Bolivia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela) and Russia, 9 non-member countries with observer status: Angola, Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Norway, Oman and Peru, the United States, one of the world’s leading gas producers, are not part of the FPEG.. To one day reach a gas market that meets oil market standards (daily listing), the share of LNG would have to increase from 30% to more than 80%. Until then, because investments are hefty, everything will depend on the evolution between 2020/2030/2040, on-demand for LNG which will depend on the new global energy consumption model that is moving towards the digital and energy transition with an increase in the share of renewables, energy efficiency and between 2030/2040 hydrogen which risks degrading a large part of the transition energy.

What about the current tensions in the eastern Mediterranean regarding the energy sector which is not immune to OPEC’s action, but indirectly affecting the price of energy and the market share of Algeria towards Europe its principal customer, recalling that there is a gas organisation independent of that of OPEC. 

 A friend, the polytechnician Jean Pierre Hauet of KP Intelligence, France rightly notes that the energy scene comes alive in the Mediterranean with at least two significant fields of manoeuvring which it is interesting to try to understand the ins and outs that explain the current tensions, especially in the eastern Mediterranean. The first theatre is that of renewable energy (wind, concentrated solar, photovoltaic) which has been characterised by the launch of major initiatives based on the idea that technical progress in direct current transmission lines would allow taking advantage of the complementarity between the electricity needs of the countries of the north and the availability of space and sun of the countries of the South. At the time, we were talking about 400 million euros of investments and the satisfaction of 15% of Europe’s electricity needs. Today, the Desertec project is instead at half-mast, due in particular to the withdrawal of major industrial players, Siemens and Bosch, and the consummate disagreement between the Desertec Foundation and its industrial arm the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii). Dii continues its ambitions to integrate European, North African and Middle Eastern networks, while the Desertec Foundation now seems to favour bilateral initiatives in Cameroon, Senegal and Saudi Arabia. The second theatre of operations is recent: it relates to the discovery from 2009 of deep offshore gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean, which explains the current tensions. Large companies that used to operate other more accessible, profitable fields or near facilities nearby, on land, are now turning to the eastern Mediterranean, off Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus and Turkey, all countries that do not necessarily have good neighbourly relations. Because several gas deposits have been discovered off the coast of Egypt, Israel, Lebanon or Cyprus, at the heart of the so-called Levantine basin, it is estimated by the US Geological Survey at 3,452 billion cubic meters (m3).  “For the producing or future producing coastal states, this gas resource offers the opportunity to achieve energy independence and a way to bail out their economy through potential exports” according to the Mediterranean Foundation for Strategic Studies in a well-documented report. That is why Turkey is conducting research. Even if Greece and part of the international community accuse it of having entered the Greek maritime space, international law is unclear in this situation which does not delineate borders and geographical boundaries. Gas resources can be found on or offshore limits of a country or in either transboundary or not clearly defined boundaries reservoirs, and the Turkish initiative could be the beginning of a long series of tensions that could transform regional balances. Because geological formations do not know the political borders, oil and gas companies have explored the marine subsea soils of neighbouring countries. This was followed by the uncovering of the Leviathan field (2010) also off the coast of Israel, Zohr (2015) in Egyptian waters, then Aphrodite (2012), Calypso (2018) and Glaucus (2019) around Cyprus. Exploration of Lebanese and Greek waters is not advanced. Athens has already allocated parcels to ExxonMobil, Spain’s Repsol or Total. On February 19, 2018, a historic $15 billion contract between Egypt and Israel provided for the supply of natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan offshore reservoirs to Egypt, according to a report by the Mediterranean Foundation for Strategic Studies (FMEN). To ease tensions, although the countries of the Mediterranean all face the problem of energy security, it is above all a question of strengthening cooperation especially in the energy field, which can represent a vital link between the north and the South of the Mediterranean.

What is the case for Algeria where according to SONATRACH’s balance sheet in 2019, it makes up about 33% of its revenues, to which must be deducted the costs and the share of partners dependent on natural gas in order to have the net profit? The structure between natural gas exports through the two major Medgaz pipelines via Spain capacity, of 8 billion cubic meters gas and Transmed via Italy between 35/40 billion cubic meters of gas, currently under capacity, represents about 75% of the total towards its primary market Europe. LNG about 25% that provides it with more flexibility, Algeria is strongly competed against between 2020/2025 by the American, Russian, Qatari LNG. The latter has installed large capacity two to three times that of Algeria and for the gas piped by Russia the North Stream (55 billion cubic meters of capacity and the South Stream (capacity of 63 billion cubic meters gas), not forgetting as previously highlighted the discoveries in the Mediterranean. Nigeria and Mozambique are important producers with the latter country having the largest reserves in East African countries, with nearly 5 trillion cubic meters, on two offshore blocks in the province of Cabo Delgado in the far north of the country. By 2025/2030, Mozambique is likely to become the fourth-largest gas exporter in the world behind the USA, Qatar and Australia. In order to export to Asia, it will have to bypass the entire cornice of Africa posing the problem of profitability, in addition to the operating costs is added an exorbitant transport cost, unable to compete with Russia with the Siberian China gas pipeline, called “Power of Siberia”, more than 2000 km at the Chinese border, transporting 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to China each year by 2024/2025, a contract, estimated at more than 400 billion dollars over 30 years, signed by Gazprom and the Chinese giant CNPC, signed by Gazprom and the Chinese giant CNPC. Not to mention Iran and Qatar close to Asia. In the end, everything will depend for Algeria to enter the global market of cost requiring new strategic management of Sonatrach whose operating account for several decades depends fundamentally on external factors beyond its internal management, the international vector price, which led the president of the republic to demand an audit of this company. As for the world price between 2007 and September 2020, it fell by more than 75%, much more than for the oil. It has gone from 15/16 dollars for the GLN to 4/5 dollars and $9/10 for natural gas (GN). It has fluctuated between 2019/2020 between $1.7 and $2.5 per MBTU, in the open market. And recently between January 2020 and September 2020, we will have to take into account the dollar/euro rating which has depreciated by more than 11%, due to the uncertainties of the US economy and especially the swelling of the budget deficit bringing it back to the constant price thus having to draw the currency balance  

In short, energy is at the heart of the sovereignty of states and their security policies. The world is moving during 2020 through 2030, inevitably towards the digital and energy transition with a new model of energy consumption and knowledge imposing on our leaders a cultural renewal far from the material mentality of the past that cannot lead the country with expensive projects, uncertain profitability to the impasse.  Economic dynamics will alter global power relations and affect political recompositions within and regional spaces, hence the importance of understanding geostrategic energy issues and appropriate solutions, far from unrealistic discourses.

ademmebtoul@gmail.com

Four strategies for growth in MENA

Four strategies for growth in MENA

The London based WARC posted a summarised page of News on 16/09/2020 of its report covering how Four strategies for growth in MENA would be best to be followed in the MENA region.


An analysis of the results of this year’s WARC Prize for MENA Strategy reveals key takeaways for the region’s marketers looking for growth opportunities, from finding niche audiences in smaller markets to developing more resonant touchpoints.

“As certain MENA markets are already enduring their second wave of COVID-19 and several continue to be buffeted by economic recession, identifying new strategies for growth is vital for brands,” says Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies at WARC.

“In this report, we’ve identified new approaches that this year’s winners have incorporated in their campaigns that can help brands to build strong strategic frameworks that have growth baked in.”

The four key takeaways highlighted in WARC’s 2020 MENA Strategy Report are:

1. Target the frontier markets

Pragmatic solutions that help specific communities in MENA’s frontier markets can be instrumental in driving growth. Empowering marginalised communities, particularly within the region’s smaller markets, can be an effective way to brand-build.

This year’s Grand Prix-winning initiative from Tunisie Telecom helped female farmers access social security via their handsets. The technological innovation instigated by the campaign set the precedent for a new digital government vision.

Melek Ourir, Strategic Planner at Wunderman Thompson Tunisia, advises: “Resist the temptation to ignore smaller markets and audiences that could unlock significant growth for your business.”

2. Unconventional touchpoints can underpin strategy

Identifying new, creative touchpoints strengthens strategy, resonating with or delighting audiences.

Three standout campaigns addressed consumer challenges and were not constrained by where the brands were traditionally ‘allowed’ to be present: clothing retailer Babyshop promoted the long-term health of mothers; cheese brand Puck reclaimed share at breakfast and lunch; and NGO Donner Sang Compter encouraged those who spill their own blood onto the streets in the tradition of Ashura to donate it instead.

Admiring the risks and the rulebreakers among this year’s winners that explored new touchpoints, judge Sunjay Malik, Associate Director, Strategy at PHD UAE, says: “Media mixes are rulebooks that we set ourselves, which over time make us less imaginative and less brave. Long live the rulebreakers, who in challenging themselves inspire us to be better.”

3. Humour: a strategic shortcut to likeability

Making people laugh is one of the most powerful ways to connect and can make your brand distinct from the competition.

Winning brands that used humour include Burger King, which launched a new spicy menu with its Who Said Men Don’t Cry campaign; telco Jawwy, which used entertaining video content to resonate with Saudi youth; and Egyptian telco Etisalat crafting a comic campaign to win customers over to its hybrid offer.

Jury member Shagorika Heryani, Head of Strategy at Grey MENA, says: “There’s always a place for humour – even during a crisis. Smart brands understand the relationship between humour and humanity. Companies know that we buy from brands and people we like. And humour is a shortcut to likeability and authenticity.”

4. Localise to resonate

This year’s winners are a treasure trove of local insight, proving how time invested upfront to unearth strong local insights tends to pay dividends in terms of a robust strategy.

Best-in-class examples include: KFC in Saudi Arabia, which communicated its commitment to locally-sourced chicken by turning all of its brand assets green – the colour of the Kingdom’s flag; and Grand Prix winner Tunisie Telecom, which devised a programme to offer social welfare coverage to female farmers.

WARC’s 2020 MENA Strategy Report can be downloaded here. The full report is available to WARC subscribers and includes chapter analysis of the four themes with views and opinions from the judges; objectives, results and takeaways of the winning case studies, and what these mean for brands, media owners and agencies; and data analysis.

WARC’s Lucy Aitken will deep-dive into using humour as a successful marketing strategy at Lynx Live on 5-7 October in her keynote ‘Humour: the smart shortcut to brand fame’.

The WARC Prize for MENA Strategy is a free-to-enter annual case study competition in search of the best strategic thinking from MENA’s marketing industry. Next year’s prize will open for entries in January 2021.

TOPICS

Saudi non-oil private sector deteriorates after VAT hike

Saudi non-oil private sector deteriorates after VAT hike

Saudi non-oil private sector deteriorates in August after tax hike – PMI. Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector’s per TRADING ECONOMICS (see graph below) witnessed a drop in business conditions in August 2020, after having stabilised a month earlier.
The economy fell back after the planned and long-dreaded hike in the value-added tax (VAT) charges. The on-going Covid-19 prevention measures did not help either.

The image above is a FILE PHOTO: Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi non-oil private sector deteriorates after VAT hike
ActualPreviousHighestLowestDatesUnitFrequency
48.8050.0061.8042.402011 – 2020pointsMonthly

DUBAI (Reuters) – Business conditions in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector deteriorated in August after signs of stabilisation the previous month, as demand was hurt by a sharp hike in value-added tax, a survey showed on Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined to 48.8 from 50.0 in July, slipping back below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

“After stabilising in July, the economy fell back into a downturn as firms registered a solid drop in new business, in part linked to the rise in VAT charges and ongoing social distancing measures,” the IHS report said.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, tripled VAT in July to 15% to boost state coffers badly hit by low oil prices, in a move several economists said will likely slow the economic recovery from the coronavirus downturn.

“Newly-imposed VAT changes stalled consumer spending across the Saudi Arabia economy in August, latest PMI data suggested,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.

“New business was down solidly from July, as several firms commented that the sharp uptick in prices kept some customers away from markets,” he said.

Business activity and employment declined for the sixth consecutive month, although the declines were modest and the drop in employment was the slowest since May.

Due to the VAT hike, businesses reported the sharpest increase in input costs since September 2012, as suppliers increased prices of raw materials.

There had been signs of resilient economic activity in July, including annual increases in points of sales transactions and lending to the private sector, data from the central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, showed on Aug. 30.

To stem the impact of the pandemic on small and medium-sized enterprises, the central bank this week extended deferrals on bank payments for three more months.

Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Hugh Lawson

EU/Algeria Association Agreement applicable on 1 September

EU/Algeria Association Agreement applicable on 1 September

What impact does the EU/Algeria Association Agreement applicable on 1 September 2020 will have on the Algerian economy? For that, see HKTDC review; the image above is only for illustration.

Signed on September 1, 2005, the Free Trade Association Agreement with Europe, which also applies to Morocco and Tunisia in the Maghreb, is due to come into force on September 1, 2020, after a three-year delay at Algeria’s request. Having numerous implications for the whole of Algerian society, and therefore having to be considered in the socio-economic recovery plan, the Association Agreement with the EU provides for gradual tariff dismantling. It has an impact on any business creation. At the recently chaired Council of Ministers, the President of the Republic gave guidance to reassess the economic and trade aspects of the Agreement, which has failed to achieve the expected European investment targets.

The Association Agreement, based on several objectives, has strategic implications for the future of the Algerian economy. The principles of the Association Agreement are essentially similar to those found in the WTO. This world’s member countries account for more than 95% of world trade, and the majority of OPEC and non-OPEC countries with much higher production levels than Algeria, including Saudi Arabia and Russia are members of that organisation. 

We have nine (9) impacts of this Agreement:

  • The prohibition of the use of “price duality” for natural resources, particularly oil (domestic prices lower than export prices);
  • The revision of rule 49/51% in any investment project, with Europe welcoming the recent decision to relax this rule, awaiting the implementing decree for clarification of what is strategic and what is not.
  • The general elimination of quantitative restrictions on trade (import and export);
  • The obligation to put in place quality standards to protect the health of both humans and animals (health and plant health rules);
  • All commercial state monopolies are gradually adjusted for a period of negotiation.
  • The urgent need to integrate the dominant informal sphere (50% of economic activity, 33% of the money supply in circulation).
  • Economic cooperation will have to take into account the essential component of preserving the environment and ecological balances.
  • concerning the impact on energy services, if these agreements can have little effect on the upstream hydrocarbon market, the same cannot be said about all downstream hydrocarbon products. That must be subject anyway to European and international competition and the opening up of the energy services market to competition.

The EU acknowledges that between 2005 and 2019 Algerian imports from Europe are about $320 billion and that Algerian non-hydrocarbon exports were only about $15 billion. But according to the EU, for any objective analysis, oil and gas imports must be included, (over 400 billion dollars between 2005/2019) which would give a balanced overall trade balance, that apart from the hydrocarbons, Algeria can export to Europe. If Algeria has not benefited from the Association Agreement, it is because structural reforms under an internal decision in Algeria have not been carried out. Europe being a regulatory institution, cannot force firms to invest in each country, the latter being attracted by the profit function of the business environment that Algeria must improve.   For Algeria, it is Europe that has not fulfilled its commitments with a growing imbalance of its non-hydrocarbon trade balance committed to fostering a diversified economy and that Algeria has always advocated for the strengthening of dialogue and “dialogue” between Algeria and Algeria. European Union (EU) with a view to “densifying” bilateral relations in the mutual interest and balance of parts to face the common security and development challenges in a win-win partnership, not wanting to be seen as a mere market. To the concerns raised by the EU regarding its market share in Algeria as a result of the measures taken by the Algerian government in a very particular context, the balance of payments deficit, provided for by the Agreement would not be unique to Algeria as evidenced long before the coronavirus epidemic. For its part, according to the European Commission, there will be no question of revising the Framework Agreement, that applies to all countries that have signed the Agreement. Algeria should not be an exception, but not it is not only economic adjustments that would revive cooperation between Algeria and the EU to give this Agreement its full importance. Europe is not against a revision of the Agreement. Still, it wants the creation of a stable and transparent legal framework, conducive to investment, as well as the reduction of subsidies, the modernisation of the financial sector, and the development of the potential of public-private partnerships which are part of the necessary structural reforms that still need to be carried out. For Europe, geostrategically, Algeria is a crucial player in regional stability and energy supply. According to the EU executive in its report on the progress of EU-Algeria relations dated May 03, 2018, and in Reports between 2019 and 2020, the European Union welcomes Algeria’s security and defence efforts in the region. 

So, what prospects to prepare Algeria for new global challenges?   In August 2020, the analysis of the socio-economic situation highlights that the rent of hydrocarbons where oil/gas with derivatives accounts for 98% of the country’s foreign exchange inflows (noble products not exceeding $600 million in 2019). the unemployment rate, and the level of foreign exchange reserves that keep the dinar’s rating at more than 70% (our interviews Monde.fr/AFP Paris 10/08/2020 and France24/AFP on Accord 23/08/2020). It is that Europe remains a key partner for Algeria, as evidenced by Algeria’s foreign trade structure for 2019. For the main suppliers, Algeria’s top five suppliers account for 50.33% of total imports, China being the main supplier (with a large trade imbalance against Algeria between 2010/2019 ) contributed 18.25% of Algeria’s imports, followed by France, Italy, Spain and Germany with shares of 10.20%, 8.13%, 6.99% and 6.76%. For the main customers, during the year 2019, Algeria’s top five customers account for almost 50.85% of Algerian exports, with France being Algeria’s main customer with a 14.11% share, followed by Italy, Spain, Great Britain and Turkey with shares of 12.90%, 11.15%, 6.42% and 6.27%. In terms of the distribution of Algeria’s trade (import and export) by geographical area during the year 2019, the bulk of trade remains focused on traditional partners. The volume of trade with America, Africa and Oceania fell by 18.42% in 2019, compared with 2018 from $17.10 billion to $13.95 billion and Africa, contrary to some speeches, did not exceed $2.8 billion, and certainly down for 2020. European countries accounted for a 58.14% share of the total value of trade in 2019, amounting to USD 45.21 billion compared to USD 51.96 billion in 2018. Asian countries are the second largest trade flows with a share of 23.92%, from USD 19.07 billion to more than US$18.60 billion for the periods under review. So what are the prospects for Algeria to prepare for new global challenges (decentralisation, digital and energy transition)? 

The future of the Algerian economy is based on seven strategic parameters (our interview website Maghreb Voices 18/10/2020): 

  1. improve the business climate, where bureaucratic power discourages real investors, with greater coherence of institutions, around five to six main regional poles. A total decentralisation for the essential blockage in Algeria is the central and local bureaucracy that paralyses any creative initiative;
  2. the urgent reform of the socio-educational system, from primary to secondary and higher education, including vocational training, the pillar knowledge of the 21st century, land; 
  3. the control of public expenditure, costs and the fight against overcharging and corruption;  
  4. in the medium and long term, non-hydrocarbon growth must be part of the fourth global economic revolution based on the digital and energy transition; 
  5. controlling demographic pressure and urbanisation for a balanced and supportive space; 
  6. the reform requires the transparency of Sonatrach instead of production of the year explaining the audit demanded by the President of the Republic., for a turnover of 50 billion dollars, better management of 20% saves 10 billion e dollars per year; 
  7. the urgency is the reform of the financial system and the overhaul of the financial system and in its fundamental component. Indeed, a rentier oligarchy used the customs system for overcharging for lack of a table of value linked to the international network, (price, cost/quality weight); the un-digitised state system favouring the squandering of land; the un-digitised tax system promoting tax evasion, the public banking system with huge loans granted without real guarantees, in addition to interest rate increases, without correlation with the impacts on wealth creation.

In summary, it should be realistic to avoid reasoning in terms of a nation-state because only internationally competitive public or private enterprises can export, with the regulatory state playing as a facilitator, with market segments controlled by large firms by large geographical spaces. I think that despite these cyclical differences, it is a matter as I pointed out a few years ago at a conference, at the invitation of the European Parliament in Brussels, to de-outsiderdom with relations because of the stability of the two shores of the Mediterranean and Africa. It requires us to undertake together (see our study IFR French Institute of International Relations Paris 2011 the Europe Maghreb cooperation in the face of geostrategic issues). 

Our partners well received the President’s last speech on the desire for openness to the productive domestic and international private sector. The entrepreneur and direct operator state must gradually be erased to make way for a government exercising public power in its natural missions of arbitration and regulation. I am convinced that through productive dialogue relations between Algeria and Europe will find a solution guaranteeing mutual interests, which does not exist in the practice of sentiment business, the aim is to foster a win-win partnership. Algeria can establish a diversified economy and become a pivotal country and factor of stability of the Mediterranean and African region. In short, to project itself in the future, new governance is necessary.  

University professor, international expert Dr Abderrahmane MEBTOUL, ademmebtoul@gmail.com