AFRICANGLOBE – Algeria and Turkey plan to work as strategic economic partners in Africa, the Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalik Sellal said in a business forum held in Algiers on Wednesday.
“Turkish brothers, lets go together hand in hand on the African Market. We can accomplish all business together,” Sellal said. “I call all industry leaders and all investors from Turkey to come and work hand in hand with their Algerian countparts to strengthen friendly relations between two nations.”
Sellal believes that the trade volume between the two countries can be grown to a higher level even with the existing facilities and human resources.
Nihat Zeybekci, Economy Minister of Turkey, said that Turkey needs friends in its ‘cultural geography,’ referring to Turkish culture influence from the Ottoman period in the region.
“The country needs a friend like Algeria for both the African and the Turkish markets. We can do very large projects if we get together with Algeria in Africa, in Turkey and around both countries.”
Zeybekci added that Turkey and Algeria need to remove all barriers to trade. “If the nations signed a free trade agreement, the obstacles could be removed,” he said.
According to the Turkish Economy Ministry, Algeria was Turkey’s 23th largest goods export market in 2012. Turkish goods exports to Algeria in 2012 were $1.8 billion, up 23 percent ($1.4 billion) from 2011, and up 373 percent from 2001.
Turkey’s main exports to the country were road vehicles, iron and steel, electrical machinery, and manufactured metals.
Turkey’s imports from Algeria, which was Turkey’s 25th largest supplier of goods in 2012, totaled $2.6 billion in 2012, down 2.4 percent ($2.7 billion) from 2011, and up 122 percent from 2001. Natural gas and petroleum products were the main imports from Algeria.
Separately, Turkey renewed its gas trade agreement with Algeria on Wednesday to import 4.4 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas per year from the country, up from 4 billion per year under the previous contract.
According to Turkish officials, investors from Turkey have undertaken $11 billion of construction projects in Algeria through October. Turkish entrepreneurs have a total of $2 billion in investments in Algeria.
The Turkish-Algerian Business Forum was held during the Turkish president’s official visit to the country with Turkey’s top governmental officials present, including Nihat Zeybekci, Economy Minister of Turkey as well as many officials and business people from the two countries.