Glimpse of Algeria
Located in North Africa, Algeria covers an area of 2.381.741 km2. It is the largest country in Africa and the tenth largest in the world. A South Mediterranean country, Algeria, with its 1200 km of coasts is a spectacular country of dramatic geographic and climatic contrasts, where the beauty of the Mediterranean landscapes is contiguous to the majesty of the spaces of the Sahara.
Crossroad of three worlds, Mediterranean, Arab and African, center of arts and civilization, Algeria has been all along its history a welcoming country of meeting and exchanges.
With common borders with seven countries, Algeria occupies undeniably a privileged geographic position in front of European and African markets.
A country with resources and potentials
Algeria falls into two main geographical areas, the northern region which is characterized by the softness of its Mediterranean climate and the southern region constituted by the Sahara desert.
Agricultural lands and industrial activities are concentrated in the northern part of the country.
The Sahara in the South is a rich region in natural resources and hydrocarbons, with proved reserves, estimated at more than 4502 trillion m3 of natural gas, Algeria is the 7th producer of natural gas in the world and its oil production reach 1.5 million barrels/day.
Besides petroleum and natural gas, Algeria produces also important minerals including high-grade iron ore, phosphate rock and has significant deposit of zinc, mercury, gold, uranium, salt, marble, barite, Celeste. Thanks to the diversity of the mining sector and the efforts made in the discovery of the existing mining potential, Algeria offers real possibilities for partnership in the fields of exploration and development.
The south part of the country has also a tremendous potential of agricultural irrigated lands.
The Algerian population is estimated at 37 millions, with a youth majority of more than 50% less than 20 years. Scholarship is obligatory and free, Education and training of youths is at the first rank of the State budget.
Algeria's winners cards
The development of basic infrastructure constitutes an advantage of the Algerian economy. With more than 120.000 km, Algeria's well developed roads network is the most important of the Maghreb. The government made recently a major step forward in the infrastructural development of the country with the construction of a new East-West Highway that run from the Tunisian border in the East to the Moroccan border in the West. The new East-West Highway with a total length of 1216 kms is considered as one of the world's largest public construction projects.
The railway network covers a great part of the country. It stretches over 4.500 km and has more of 200 operational commercial stations. Air facilities are composed with 31 airports 13 airports of which are of International class. A modernization and reinforcement program is under way, to face a constant evolution of the traffic growth. On its large marine front, Algeria disposes of 13 main ports with 9 polyvalent ports and 2 specialized in hydrocarbons.
The telephone network is automatic at 96% and covers the totality of the territory. The electrical energy production is distributed through a system of nearly 160.000-km covering all the territory. The natural gas energy feeds the majority of the cities and important industrial space and area. Rig-up rate in drinkable water distribution is 70 %.
In order to ensure its dynamic entry within the world economy, Algeria has launch a sizeable and global economic reform program aimed at liberalizing the economy and establishing firm foundation for a competitive modern economy.
Under the leadership of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria is indeed determined to adapt its economy to the new realities of the world. It has decided to reinforce and liberalize the general framework of the functioning of its economy, encourage private investment and make use of its huge resources in favor of social and economic development. Important reforms have already been undertaken and they will be consolidated and enlarged to give foreign investments all the facilities to develop its activities.
In this regard, new measures were introduced to improve the business climate for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), such as new ways of paying for imports, tax breaks for investment finance and treatment of bank debts.
Tremendous efforts have also been made by the Government to improve the economy and outstanding results have been achieved. Indeed, Algeria achieved steady growth rate, with the last ten years showing a positive performance. The IMF expects Algeria's growth to reach 4.1 % in 2011 and 2012. Today, the economy is growing, the inflation rate has been contained to 5% and the country's foreign reserves stand now at US $ 193 billion. There is also a significant improvements on the balance of trade in which Algeria achieved a trade surplus. This positive performance need now to be sustained by further efforts aimed at reaching a sustainable level of economic growth.
In this regard, the Government approved in May 2010 a five-year investment plan of US$ 286bn. Some US$ 130bn of this plan will be used to complete projects already under way, while US$ 156bn would be used to finance new schemes in the sectors of education, housing, infrastructure, health, transport, etc..
The investment program, set to run from 2010 to 2014, was to be the driving force behind government efforts to diversify the economy.
Its geographical location as a gateway to Europe, Africa and Middle East its huge economic potential, its natural resources in oil, gas and its minerals, its potentialities in agriculture and tourism are some of the valuable advantages which make Algeria a truly rewarding investment site.
With its important energetic resources, its human potential, its reserves of productivity in the agriculture, its touristic wealth still untapped, an industrial and facility web of its own in the Maghreb area, Algeria is a market of 38 millions of residents, that offers a very interesting and large scale of investment prospects.