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France and Algeria

Political relations

Since 2012, the bilateral relationship has seen a historic renewal, founded in particular on the unique human and historical ties between our two countries.

In the late 1990s, the election of President Bouteflika enabled an enhancement of bilateral relations and Algeria’s return to the international stage. The State visits of Presidents Chirac and Sarkozy in 2003 and 2007, and that of President Hollande on19 and20December2012 reaffirmed the bonds of friendship between Algeria and France.

In 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria’s independence was marked in France by a political renewal enabling smooth dialogue with Algeria. The Algiers Declaration on friendship and cooperation between France and Algeria, signed by the two Presidents at the end of the State visit, was supplemented by a joint statement by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The creation of the High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) bringing together the two governments during annual France-Algeria summits is now the cornerstone of our cooperation with Algeria, enabling the implementation of many joint projects.

Political relations continue to intensify.

The visit of the President of the Republic to Algiers on 15June2015 spurred on the momentum generated during the State visit of 2012. As a first in the bilateral relationship, the French Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance MrJean-MarcTodeschini visited Sétif in May 2015 and his Algerian counterpart visited France in January 2016. The third meeting of the France-Algeria bilateral joint economic committee (COMEFA) was held in Paris on 26October2015, in parallel with a succession of French visits to Algeria. The holding of the third meeting of the High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) in Algiers on 10April2016 in the presence of Prime Minister ManuelValls and ten Ministers and Ministers of State led to the signing of a dozen institutional agreements and some fifteen economic agreements. This meeting demonstrated our exceptional partnership and the great level of confidence that characterizes the bilateral relationship.

Visits 2016

10 April: Third meeting the High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) in Algiers in the presence of Prime Minister ManuelValls and ten Ministers and Ministers of State

March 29: MrJean-MarcAyrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

March 24: MrStéphaneLeFoll, French Minister of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry

March 24: MrMohamed El Ghazi, Algerian Minister for Labour and Social Affairs

March 20: MrJean-Louis Bianco, French Special Representative for France-Algeria Economic Relations

26-28 January: Mr Tayeb Zitouni, Algerian Minister of Mujahideen (War Veterans)

19 January: Mr AzzedineMihoubi, Algerian Minister of Culture


20-22 December: MsChristiane Taubira, French Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals

15-16 December: MrNourredineBedoui, Algerian Minister of Interior and Local Authorities

9 December: MrJean-Louis Debré, President of the French Constitutional Council

28 October: MsFleur Pellerin, French Minister of Culture and Communication

26 October: MrRamtaneLamamra, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; MrAbdeslam Bouchouareb, Algerian Minister of Industry and Mines

24-25 October: Ms NajatVallaud-Belkacem, French Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research

2-3 October: MsSégolène Royal, French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy

12 September: MrJean-Louis Bianco, French Special Representative for France-Algeria Economic Relations

10-14 September: MrGérard Larcher, President of the French Senate

6 September: MrRamtane Lamamra, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

15 June: MrFrançois Hollande, President of the French Republic

12 May: MrLaurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

19-20 April: MrJean-MarcTodeschini, French Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance

7 April: MrRamtane Lamamra, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

1 March: MrJean-Louis Bianco, French Special Representative for France-Algeria Economic Relations

24 February: MrAbdelkader Khomri, Algerian Minister for Youth

21 February: MrAbdelwahab Nouri, Algerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

13 February: MsNouria Benghebrit, Algerian Minister of National Education

6 February: MrAbdelkader Messahel, Algerian Minister Delegate for Maghreb and African Affairs

5 February: Mr Mohamed Aissa, Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs and Wakfs

Economic relations

Economic and trade relations have grown rapidly since 1999 and are especially strong.

Our trade effectively tripled between 1999 and 2013. In 2014, France became Algeria’s second-largest partner, with 10.9% of market share (12.08% in 2012), behind China (12.4%) but ahead of Italy (10.3%). However, our market share has been declining steadily since 2000 because of increased competition (Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey and, above all, China. France seems to have benefited proportionally less than its competitors from the relative opening up of the Algerian economy.

France remains the leading investor outside the hydrocarbons sector and the top foreign employer in Algeria: our businesses employ almost 40,000people (100,000if indirect jobs are included), for around 500companies present in the country (some 30CAC40companies are active or present on the Algerian market). The main sector for jobs and activity is that of services: financial services, through the presence of Société Générale and BNPParibas, and transport (with companies including Air France). In the maritime field, CMA-CGM, with its staff of 400people, is a leader on the Algerian market. France’s economic diplomacy is also considerable in Algeria in the sectors of hospitality and catering (Accor, Sodexo and Newrest groups), automobile distribution (Renault and Renault Trucks) and the environment (Suez Environnement).

French exports, worth €6.9billion in 2014, have increased, but China has become the leading supplier of Algeria with €8.4billion of exported products. The growth of France’s exports is underpinned by the strength of grain sales, while our vehicle exports are falling. At the same time, France’s imports from Algeria have grown by 4.1% to €4.42 billion, compared to €4.2 billion in 2013 (fall in natural gas purchases and rise in crude oil and refined petroleum products imports). Our bilateral trade surplus continued to grow in 2014 (from €1.66 billion to €1.76 billion), a trend which increased during the first half of 2015 when our exports increased by 2% and our imports plummeted by 12%. This was due to oil, which represented almost half of our imports over the period (€1.1billion).

In May 2013, MrJean-Louis Levet was appointed senior official responsible for industrial and technological cooperation between France and Algeria, following the President of the French Republic’s visit to Algeria in 2012. He has helped give renewed impetus to bilateral relations in these two areas, through exemplary partnerships based on consultation and lasting entente. So far, the Levet mission has succeeded in establishing a genuine climate of trust with all Algerian partners (authorities, enterprises, researchers, etc.) and, in close cooperation with its Algerian counterparts, identified promising partnership opportunities. Some of these could be sealed by agreements during key bilateral events such as the France-Algeria bilateral joint economic committee (COMEFA), the next edition of which will take place in Algiers in autumn 2016, or the High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN), which met in April2016. The mission is an original tool to coordinate our bilateral cooperation, and the results are encouraging.

In late 2014, Mr Jean-Louis Bianco was appointed Special Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development for France’s economic relations with Algeria, succeeding MrJean-Pierre Raffarin and renewing this fruitful form of political support for economic projects. His role is to facilitate the activities of French companies operating in Algeria. This involves supporting them in the difficulties they may face, which require case-by-case treatment. But the Bianco mission is also intended to prepare for the future of these French companies: in this respect, it works alongside its various Algerian partners to prevent the emergence of new difficulties, to secure the arrival and development of French small- and medium-sized enterprises and intermediate-sized industries on the Algerian market, and to study the creation of mechanisms to improve certain decisive aspects, such as payment deadlines, customs clearance and transfers of revenue.

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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Our cultural, scientific and technical cooperation is carried out in the framework of the partnership framework document (DCP, document cadre de partenariat), which was renewed during the April 2016 CIHN meeting and which sets out:

the strengthening of human resources, economic and sustainable development of the productive sector, good governance, the rule of law, the modernization of the public sector and enhanced decentralized cooperation. This DCP was renewed for a period of 5years (2013-2017) during the visit of the President of the French Republic. Training for young Algerians was a priority, and Algeria is one of the main beneficiaries of the French cooperation funding.

Our academic cooperation seeks to support the LMD (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) reform, the training of professors, the creation of excellence hubs (École supérieure algérienne des affaires business school; Higher School of Technology, preparatory courses, a network of Higher Technology Teaching Institutes), and the improvement of the education and vocational training system. The third France-Algeria conference on higher education and research was held in Algeria in January2013. Teaching of and in French is also central to our action: assistance in improving initial and continuous training of French teachers in both secondary and higher education; support for doctoral students in French; support for the creation of intensive language teaching centres in 35Algerian universities.

Our cooperation draws on a French cultural network that has been redeployed since 2000 (five French institutes in Algiers, Annaba, Oran, Constantine and Tlemcen). The reopening of the French Institute in Tizi Ouzou is under consideration. The international Alexandre Dumas high school in Algiers reopened in 2002 and teaches more than 1000 pupils, while another primary school in Algiers counts 500. Projects to open French schools in Oran and Annaba are being studied.

Institutional cooperation aims to support areas including the modernization of justice, administration, transport, spatial planning and civil protection. It encourages decentralized cooperation and support for civil society.

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Other cooperation

Cooperation between France and Algeria is characterized by the extreme diversity of fields and the great many players (administrations, local government bodies, associations, NGOs, etc.), which reflect the vitality of a relationship rooted in history and human and family ties. The full extent of this cooperation can be read on the website of the French Embassy in Algiers: Website of the French Embassy in Algiers.

In the area of defence, our action is focused on the following areas: expertize transfer for the armed forces, training of elite forces and teaching of French in the military sphere. The teaching of French remains a priority for Algerian students visiting our training schools. During the second High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) session in December2014, France and Algeria marked their determination to continue their dialogue and deepen their cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism.

Every year, a joint commission (Commixte) on defence cooperation meets, alternately in France and Algeria. The 7??joint commission session was held on 17and 18November2014 and opened up new prospects for cooperation in 2015. Concrete proposals were made on that occasion to boost exchanges of security and strategic analysis, to increase exchange of expertise, to strengthen operational cooperation in counter-terrorism in the Sahel sub-region, and to work to dry up the sources of financing of terrorist groups through the payment of ransoms, organized crime and drug trafficking.

In the internal security field, our cooperation is focused on the areas of counter-terrorism, fighting organized crime, illegal immigration and document fraud, and on a vast programme to support the modernization of Algerian civil protection services.

Updated: 02/05/2016



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