Speech by H.E. the Algerian Ambassador, M. Lounes Magramane at the Algeria British Business Council dinner in the House of Lords on 24th November.
Lady Olga Maitland, Chairman of the Algeria British Business Council
Baroness Symons, Chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is a great privilege and honour for me to be among you here in this prestigious building on this a great occasion. I wish first of all to extend my sincere thanks to Lady Olga Maitland for organising this wonderful and lovely dinner. I am also grateful to Baroness Symons and for her presence with us this evening. I would like on this occasion to extend my gratitude to the Arab British Chamber of Commerce for its effort to promote the Arab British business.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to say that Algeria and the United Kingdom enjoy an excellent relationship. This year the two countries celebrated 60 years of a diplomatic relations based on trust and mutual respect.
With that in mind, it has not gone unnoticed that many MPs debated, last week, in the House of Commons the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Algeria and the United Kingdom.
And it is worth noting that I compliment the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, David Rutley, and the Chair of the All-party Parliamentary group on Algeria, Alexander Stafford, who eloquently expressed during the debate, their optimism for a promising future of the bilateral ties and their commitment to bolster the cooperation in many fields.
I also do share these same enthusiasm and commitments which are at the core of my mission as Ambassador of Algeria in the UK.
This brings me to mention that, in this spirit, many concrete actions are being taken. Indeed, the two Governments are preparing to hold, in the near future, the second session of the Algerian -British strategic dialogue in London, to enhance the cooperation and partnership relations in economic, commercial and cultural fields in the interest of the two countries. This event will be an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of both sides to consolidate the cooperation in all sectors.
The United Kingdom is one of the main economic partners of Algeria. During the first half of this year, the volume of bilateral trade was estimated to 2.4 billion pounds. It has registered an increase of more than 200% comparing to the same period last year. In order to enhance further the trade exchanges between the two countries, significant efforts are being made by both sides to set a bilateral legal framework.
From my side, I will do my utmost best, as Ambassador in this wonderful country, to concretise the strong political will of our leaders and achieve those goals.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Very positive economic developments are happening in Algeria, during the last years, especially after the Covid-19 period. The growth and development of Algeria have been revived and the business climate has been improved.
Those developments are the results of the political will and determination, and commitment of the Algerian Government under the wise leadership of the President of the Republic, Mr Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in order to build modern and democratic institutions, for the new Algeria to continue firmly in track achieving the hopes and aspirations of its people for progress and prosperity.
On the economic level, the Algerian economy has experienced a new dynamic. My country is today among the most attractive markets of the region. The growth rate is 3.7% this year and it is expected to reach 4.1% next year, and 4.4% in 2024.
The Algerian economy is strengthening and diversifying. A significant increase of non-hydrocarbon export has been recorded in the last two years. Algeria exported more than 5 billion last year and it is expected to export 7 billion this year. The non-hydrocarbon growth rate is expected to reach 5.6% in 2023. The growth rate in agriculture and industry sectors is expected to reach respectively 6.9% and 8.5% in 2023.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Algeria has further opened its economy to foreign investment; the reform process initiated in the past years was culminated by the approval of the new investment law adopted last July and the 8 implementing texts adopted last September.
The new investment legal framework breaks with certain measures that were very restrictive to the act of investing in the past, including the so called 49-51% rule, except for strategic projects, such as hydrocarbons, mining, natural resources and the pharmaceutical industry.
The new investment legal framework is considered among the most advantageous and attractive that our country has known. It enshrines the freedom of investment, transparency and equality treatment of both domestic and foreign investors. The new investment law grants a number of guarantees, facilities and incentives.
First: The guarantees:
• No discrimination and distinction between a national and a foreign investor.
• Right to transfer in foreign currency the invested capital and the incomes derived from it.
• Right to resort the international arbitration
• The establishment of the Algerian Agency of Investment Promotion under the supervision of the Prime Minister in order to:
• Provide the investor with all information needed to prepare their project;
• Support the investor in carrying out the formalities related to the investment;
• Monitoring investment projects progress;
• Monitoring of digital platform for investors;
• Support investors with other departments and grant tax benefits;
• Support the investors to find the land to achieve their investment project.
• The setting up of a one stop shop (Guichet unique) (الشباك الوحيد) for major projects and foreign investments in order to record and process the investments, managing and follow up the projects.
• Furthermore, in the spirit of transparency and minimizing human intervention in the investment process, a digital platform for investors was established in order to facilitate the investment process.
• And for more guaranties to the investors, a High National Appeal Commission has been put in place at the Presidency of the Republic to deal with the appeals submitted by investors;
Third: incentive schemes
• The investment projects under some zones of particular interests, priority sector projects and structuring investments, benefit from incentives, such as:
• Exemption from custom duties, VAT, Transfer Tax, required Registration fees and Land tax during the realisation of the investment;
• Exemption from Tax on companies’ profits (IBS), Tax on the Turnover (TAP) during the operation period for 3 to 10 years.
I hope the British companies and investors will seize this opportunity to invest in Algeria in the different fields developed by the Government, such as: food and agriculture industry, mechanic, electronic, textile, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
To conclude, I would like, once again, to pay tribute to Lady Olga Maitland and all ABBC members for their efforts to promote business relations between the two countries. I reiterate my availability and the commitment of the Embassy to work together for our mutual interest.
I would like also to extend my gratitude to the British authorities for their support and collaboration and the British Ambassador in Algiers, Sharon Wardle and her staff for their efforts in promoting the bilateral relations between our two countries.
Thank you so much for your kind attention.