Our bilateral relationship is founded in particular on the unique human and historical ties between our two countries.
The visit by the French President on 6 December 2017 set the tone for a deeper relationship. He wanted to send three messages to our partners: the shared desire to move forward together on the issue of remembrance (return of Algerian human remains conserved at the Musée de l’Homme); support for mutual investment; and the desire for a relationship that better addresses the expectations of young people in particular (higher education and vocational training).
The fourth High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) meeting, co-chaired by the two Prime Ministers and involving six ministers on each side, was held in Paris on 7 December 2017, giving rise to eleven agreements in five sectors: health (Sanofi and Ipsen), vocational training in the electricity sector (Schneider Electric), agrifood (Axéréal), entrepreneurship and higher education.
The sixth joint economic meeting (COMEFA) was held in Algiers on 12 March 2020, co-chaired by the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and his counterpart, Sabri Boukadoum. The meeting was an opportunity to address all matters relating to the economic and trade cooperation between our two countries.
The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, made a visit to Algiers on 21 January 2020.
- 21 January: Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
- 12 March: Sixth joint economic committee meeting (COMEFA) held in Algiers, attended by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
- 23-24 June: attendance of Mr Sabri Boukadoum, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the Summit of the Two Shores
- 11 June: Mr Raouf Bernaoui, Algerian Minister of Youth and Sports
- 30 January: Ms Nicole Belloubet, French Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice
- 8 December: Mr Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
- 18 November: Mr Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy and Finance
- 29 October: Fifth joint economic committee (COMEFA) meeting in Paris, attended by Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr Youcef Yousfi, Algerian Minister of Industry and Mines
- 1 October: Mr Noureddine Ayadi, Secretary General of the Presidency of Algeria
- 29 May: Mr Ahmed Ouyahia, Algerian Prime Minister
- 26-30 April: Mr Abdelwahid Temmar, Algerian Minister of Housing, Urban Planning and Cities, Mr Mourad Zemali, Algerian Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security
- 25-26 April: Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs
- 9-10 April: Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs
- 14-15 March: Mr Gérard Collomb, Ministre d’État, French Minister of the Interior
- 7 December: Fourth High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) meeting in Paris, attended by Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia along with six Ministers and a Minister of State
- 6 December: Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, accompanied by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Mr Gérald Darmanin, French Minister for Government Action and Public Accounts
- 12 November: Fourth joint economic committee meeting (COMEFA) in Algiers, attended by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Mr Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy and Finance
- 25 September: Mr Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Secretary-General of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs
- 12-13 June: Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
- 5-6 April: Mr Bernard Cazeneuve, French Prime Minister
- 7 March: Mr Bruno Le Roux, French Minister of the Interior
- 2-3 February: Mr Laurent Fabius, President of the French Constitutional Council
- 25-26 January: Mr Tahar Hadjar, Algerian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research
- 25 January: Mr Hamid Grine, Algerian Minister for Communication
- 24 January: Mr Hadji Baba Ammi, Algerian Minister of Finance (5+5 Finances)
- 18 January: Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Algerian Minister of Maghreb Affairs, the African Union and the Arab League
Economic and trade relations have grown rapidly since 1999 and are especially strong. Our trade effectively tripled between 1999 and 2013, making Algeria France’s leading trading partner in Africa and the third-largest market for French exports outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), behind China and Russia. France remained Algeria’s second-largest partner in 2019, with €4.98 billion in exports and a market share of 8.7%, behind China (19.8%) but ahead of Italy (7.8%) and Germany (7%).
France remains the leading investor outside the hydrocarbons sector and the top foreign employer in Algeria: our businesses employ almost 40,000 people directly (140,000 if indirect jobs are included), for around 500 companies present in the country (some 30 CAC 40 companies are active or present on the Algerian market). The main sectors for jobs and activity are financial services (through the presence of Société Générale and BNP Paribas), and transport (with companies including Air France). In the maritime field, CMA CGM, with its staff of 400 people, is a leader on the Algerian market. France’s economic presence is also considerable in Algeria in the sectors of hospitality and catering (Accor, Sodexo and Newrest), automobile vehicles (Renault and Renault Trucks), the environment (Suez Environnement), electricity (Schneider Electric), agrifood (Avril, Agromed and Axéréal) and health (Sanofi, Ipsen).
Drawing on intergovernmental contacts (COMEFA and CIHN), economic cooperation between our two countries has taken off again, focused around several key projects including the industrial facilities of Renault and PSA in Oran, Alstom in Annaba, and Sanofi in Sidi Abdallah.
Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
Our cultural, scientific and technical cooperation is governed by a partnership framework document (DCP), setting out the major objectives of our partnership with Algeria in these areas over five years. A new DCP for the period 2018-2023 remains to be negotiated.
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 reform of the PROFAS grants programme was finalized in 2014, on the basis of equal financing by each party (€1.2 million each year, 650 beneficiaries) and seven ISTA technology institutes have opened since September that year, based on the French University Institute of Technology (IUT) model.
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 and support for the creation of intensive language teaching centres in 35 Algerian universities.
Our cooperation draws on a French cultural network that has been redeployed since 2000 (five Instituts Français in Algiers, Annaba, Oran, Constantine and Tlemcen). The French cultural centre in Tizi-Ouzou is currently dormant. The renovated Institut Français in Annaba was inaugurated on 18 April 2018. The international Alexandre Dumas secondary school in Algiers reopened in 2002 and teaches more than 2,000 pupils, while another, smaller school, Hydra, has 500 pupils. At the CIHN on 10 April 2016, agreement was reached for two annexes of the Alexandre Dumas lycée to open: one in Oran, which opened in 2017, and one in Annaba, which opened in 2018. “France offices” are expected to open in the future in the country’s southern universities (Ouargla, Béchar, Tamanrasset, El Oued, etc.).
Cooperation between France and Algeria is characterized by the extreme diversity of fields and the great many players involved (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 found on the website of the French Embassy in Algiers.
Institutional cooperation aims to support areas including the modernization of justice, administration, transport, spatial planning and civil protection.
Cooperation programmes also exist in agriculture, transport, public works and regional development. Lastly, our activities seek to encourage decentralized cooperation and to support civil society. Significant progress has been achieved in recent years in spurring on this area of cooperation, through the holding of decentralized cooperation meetings on a biennial basis, with meetings in Algiers (25-26 May 2016) and visits by officials from local governments to France and Algeria.
Updated: August 2020