18 February 2017

"It is time for Algerian companies to invest and set up subsidiaries in Tunisia," said Yezid Taalba, Algerian expert and head of the consulting firm "Africa Invest".

In a statement to TAP, on the sidelines of a conference organised on the theme "Settlement of Tunisian companies in Algeria: partnership and economic complementarity", the official stressed the imperative to revise the laws governing Algerian investments outside ".

He also called for providing certain authorisations, urging the Algerian Central Bank to adopt a new approach.

Taalba stressed the imperative to alleviate all these procedures and to study, with the Tunisian side, the measures likely to favour investment in Tunisia.

CEPEX CEO Aziza Htira said that Tunisian exports to Algeria remain low, despite the increase registered (117%) between the period 2011/2016, from 655.9 MD to 1426 MD

Tunisian exports to Algeria represent only 0.8% of the total value of Algerian imports.

Htira highlighted the importance of the Algerian market and its enormous potential that remains under exploited, adding that nearly 150 Tunisian companies are located in Algeria, with investments of nearly 150 million Euros.

In January, CEPEX opened an office in Algeria (Oran), she said, adding that two other offices will be opened in Yaounde (Cameroon) and Kinshasa (Congo).

She added that three new offices will be opened between 2017 and 2018 in sub-Saharan Africa as part of investor guidance programmes and technical support. The objective is to better understand foreign markets and help Tunisian companies develop their export strategies.

For Riadh Ben Zarga, Director in CEPEX, that nearly 20 professional meetings will be organised between Tunisian and Algerian businessmen in the two countries operating in the sectors of health, tourist equipment and food products.

Minister of Industry and Trade Zied Laadhari said that the government aims to boost the economic and industrial complementarity between Algeria and Tunisia and not to be contented with trade between the two Countries, whose value is estimated at nearly 3 trillion.

He added that the government will work at the meeting of the High Joint Commission to be held in March, to raise the level of bilateral relations, especially at the economic level.

Since several international companies operating in the automotive components sector plan to set up operations in Algeria, the Tunisian government is working to boost economic complementarity in this sector, especially since the country has an important industrial fabric, said Ladhaari.

For his part, the Algerian expert Ridha El Baki said that 95% of Algeria's exports to Tunisia relate to the gas, oil and petroleum sector, while Tunisia's main imports concern construction materials (25%), mining products (19%), chemicals 17%), electronic and motor products (16%) and agri-food products (5%).

The expert pointed out that Algerian laws guarantee the rights of investors, in particular small holders, stressing the possibility of continuing projects and participating in meetings of the board of directors as well as transferring equipment from Tunisian companies in Algeria.

© Tunis-Afrique Presse 2017