France and Algeria


Political relations

Our bilateral relationship is founded in particular on the unique human and historical ties between our two countries. In the late 1990s, the election of President Bouteflika boosted 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 on 19 and 20 December 2012, reaffirmed the bonds of friendship between Algeria and France.

Since 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria’s independence, our bilateral relationship has seen a historic renewal, enshrined by the signing of the Algiers Declaration on friendship and cooperation between France and Algeria by the two Presidents on 19 December 2012. The creation of the High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) bringing together the two governments during regular France-Algeria summits is now the cornerstone of our cooperation with Algeria, enabling the implementation of many joint projects. A France-Algeria bilateral joint economic committee (COMEFA), aimed at supporting the conclusion of productive partnerships, regularly brings together the foreign and economy ministers of both countries to maintain positive bilateral economic momentum.

The visit by the French President on 6 December 2017 set the tone for deeper relations. He delivered three messages to the Algerians: the shared desire to move forward together on the issue of remembrance; a call for a more open Algerian economy and support for mutual investment; and the desire for a relationship that better addresses the expectations of young people in particular.

The fourth joint economic committee (COMEFA) meeting was held in Algiers on 12 November 2017. Three agreements were signed, including that enabling PSA to open a production plant in Oran.

The fourth High-Level Intergovernmental Committee meeting, held in Paris on 7 December 2017, gave rise to eleven agreements in five sectors: health (Sanofi and Ipsen), vocational training in the electricity sector (Schneider Electric) and automobile sector (Axéréal), entrepreneurship and higher education. Three major agreements are in the process of ratification: a mutual legal assistance convention, the agreement on professional mobility for young people, and a protocol on health care (securing the treatment of Algerian patients in French hospitals).

Interparliamentary cooperation with Algeria is illustrated by very high-level respective visits. The Presidents of the French Senate and National Assembly have made official visits to Algiers, in September 2015 and June 2016 respectively. The President of the Algerian Council of the Nation, Mr Abdelkader Bensala, made a visit to Paris in September 2016. Mr Gérard Larcher, President of the French Senate, is expected to visit Algiers in 2018.



  • 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 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


  • 18 December: Mr Jean-Louis Bianco, Special Representative of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development for France-Algeria relations
  • 21 November: Mr Christian Masset, Secretary-General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
  • 9-10 November: Mr Noureddine Bedoui, Algerian Minister of Interior and Local Authorities
  • 4-5 November: Mr Tayeb Louh, Algerian Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals
  • 26-27 September: Ms Ségolène Royal, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs
  • 19-20 September: Mr Abdelkader Bensalah, President of the Algerian Council of the Nation
  • 25-26 May: Mr Jean-Marc Baylet, French Minister of Town and Country Planning, Rural Affairs and Local Government
  • 10 April: Third meeting of the High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) in Algiers in the presence of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and ten Ministers and Ministers of State
  • 29 March: Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
  • 24 March: Mr Stéphane Le Foll, French Minister of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry
  • 24 March: Mr Mohamed El Ghazi, Algerian Minister for Labour and Social Affairs
  • 20 March: Mr Jean-Louis Bianco, Special Representative of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development for France-Algeria relations
  • 26-28 January: Mr Tayeb Zitouni, Algerian Minister of Mujahideen (War Veterans)
  • 19 January: Mr Azzedine Mihoubi, Algerian Minister of Culture

Economic relations

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 2016, with €5.08 billion of exports and a market share of 10.2%, behind China (18%) but ahead of Italy (9.9%) and Spain (7.7%). Despite regular growth in our exports since 2000, our market share has been falling constantly since the turn of the century 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 40,000 people (100,000 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 those of services (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, Renault Trucks and PSA), the environment (Suez Environnement), electricity (Schneider Electric), agrifood (Avril, Agromed and Axéréal) and health (Sanofi, Ipsen).

Drawing on the momentum generated in 2012 and 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.

In May 2013, Mr Jean-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 given 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 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 have been covered by agreements concluded during key bilateral events.

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 Mr Raffarin. 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. The Bianco mission also aims to prepare the future of these French companies, contributing in this respect to the development of French-Algerian partnerships. Mr Bianco visited Algiers in December 2016.

Useful links

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Our cultural, scientific and technical cooperation is carried out in the framework of the partnership framework document (DCP), setting out the major objectives of our partnership with Algeria over five years in these areas. Negotiations for the next DCP for the period 2016-2023 will begin in the first half of 2018. It should prioritize young people (education, academic cooperation and vocational training) and promising sectors for the future (innovation, digital technology, biotech).

Our academic cooperation seeks to support the LMD (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) reform, the training of academics, 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; 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 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 1,000 pupils, while a primary school in the city counts 500. At the CIHN on 10 April 2016, agreement was reached for two annexes of the Alexandre Dumas lycée to open: one in Oran (2017-2018 school year) and one in Annaba (2018-2019).

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 bilateral basis, with meetings in Algiers (25-26 May 2016) and visits by officials from local governments to France and Algeria.

Useful links

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:

In the area of defence, our action is focused on the following areas: advisory missions 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 third High-Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN) session in April 2016, 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 on defence cooperation meets, alternately in France and Algeria. Concrete proposals are made there to boost exchanges of analysis, to increase exchange of expertise, to strengthen operational coordination in counter-terrorism in the Sahel region, and to work to dry up the sources of financing of terrorist groups.

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: December 2017