From Mauritania to Senegal, Soon to France… First Fruits of Algerian Economic Diplomacy
The first results of economic diplomacy began to appear clearly on the ground through the launch of an Algerian bank in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, and a permanent Fair of Algerian Products in the capital of this friendly and brotherly country, awaiting similar steps in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, and France in the future, within the framework of diversifying the economy and supporting exports outside of hydrocarbons.
After years of complaints and demands from Algerian companies, manufacturers, and economic operators regarding the necessity of being accompanied abroad by branches of national banks, these demands were finally embodied through the opening of the first Algerian bank abroad, represented by the Federal Bank of Algeria in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, which was inaugurated on Wednesday by the Ministers of Finance and Trade with a capital of 50 million dollars.
The Algerian-Senegalese Bank, which has a capital of 100 million dollars, is expected to open in the capital, Dakar, on Thursday. This will also be accompanied by the inauguration of a permanent Fair for Algerian Products in the capital, Dakar.
The third step for Algeria banks abroad will be France soon to accompany customers and companies, as well as members of the national community who are present in large numbers in this European country.
It was clear that reviving and diversifying the national economy had also a role in activating economic diplomacy, which was realised through the meeting of the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, with the ambassadors and consuls in November 2021, whose goals also included more support for economic work by the representations of Algerian diplomacy abroad.
Further, President Tebboune’s visits to various countries, including Arab such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, or Western such as Italy and Portugal, or from the former Eastern bloc such as Russia and China, or Muslim such as Turkey, were not devoid of the economic dimension that was strongly present through the signing of many partnership agreements and various projects.
In this context, the economic expert Mourad Kouachi explained in a statement to Echorouk that “the visit of the Algerian delegation to Mauritania and Senegal falls within the framework of activating the role of economic diplomacy, after Algeria returned strongly to the African continent about 3 years ago, and worked hard to support its continental dimension, which was also distinguished by an increase in the number of visits to various African capitals.”
Professor Kouachi confirmed that “we also see this diplomacy through projects of a strategic nature, such as the African Unity Road and the ongoing efforts regarding the trans-Saharan gas pipeline (Nigeria – Niger-Algeria) and fibre optic lines”.
The university professor added that the bilateral relations with Mauritania are currently leading towards the completion of the land road between Tindouf and Zouerate (southern Algeria), and from there towards the vast African market, explaining that Mauritania and Senegal are only two gateways to the African continent’s market, which counts one billion and 200 million people.
Pr. Kouachi considered that these decisions are strategic options for Algeria to strengthen the African dimension, and they are steps that will greatly support the activity of Algerian exporters who previously suffered in dealing with foreign banks, which will give more confidence to economic traders, especially since, according to him, Algerian products can compete comfortably in the African market.
Expert Kouachi concluded that the idea of permanent economic fairs abroad will have a major role in promoting Algerian products and creating marketing opportunities not only in Senegal and Mauritania but also in the west, south and centre of the continent, which will enhance the diversification of the economy outside hydrocarbons and break the link to the rentier economy.