Algerian PM: Henceforth, nothing will hinder development of Algeria-France economic partnership

Economic cooperation and partnership between Algeria and France would witness a new impetus following the settlement of majority of conflicts between some companies of the two countries, Premier Abdelmalek Sellal has stressed in Algiers.

“The majority of conflicts that hindered bilateral economic relations have been resolved: For example, many conflicts between Sonatrach, Engie and Total have been resolved yesterday. Bilateral cooperation under the national policy to diversify the economy has witnessed a new impetus,” stated Sellal at a press conference with his French counterpart Bernard Caseneuve.

The conference was preceded by a working meeting held in camera, followed by the signing of 10 bilateral agreements and letters of intentions in several fields.

During the meeting, both parties broached “the consolidation of multifaceted cooperation, particularly in the field of hydrocarbons, petrochemistry and renewable energy,” stressed the Premier.

In this regard, he stated that Algeria “banks on the participation of French companies” in the development of this kind of projects, saying that economic cooperation between both countries experienced “a little backwardness” during the last years.

However, “there are many FDI in Algeria,” he relativized.

No recourse to external debt

Besides, Sellal talked about the country’s financial situation, which remains strong according to him.

“Since July 2014, we have lost over 70% of our oil revenues but we remain strong. Our macro-economic balances (today) are positive. We rigorously manage our financial means that allow us further diversify our economy,” he said.

He ruled out any recourse to foreign debt to ensure the country’s budgetary fulfilments.

“We remain a country almost totally indebted; the little debt that exists is the result of the private sector. We are not going to get into debt because we lived through the 1990s and we were forced by the IMF to engage in a structural adjustment that led to the closure of businesses, unemployment and escalation of Islamist fundamentalism and terrorism,” affirmed Sellal.

“We will never go through this situation again,” he assured.

For his part, French PM Caseneuve said that Algeria’s strategy to limit its imports “is a normal concern from a country that witnesses a difficult financial situation.”

“Economic operators must have the elements of predictability and transparency in relation to the rules likely to be defined sovereignly by the Algerian side under respect for the Association agreement with the EU,” stated Caseneuve.