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IFC Supports Algeria in Attracting New Investments


In Algeria:
Nawal Merabet

Phone: + 213 21 54 65 25

Email:
nmerabet@worldbank.org

Hicham Bayali

Phone : +212-37-65-24-79

Email:
hbayali@ifc.org

In Cairo:

Thomas Moullier

Phone: + 20 2 4619150 Ext. 334

Email:
tmoullier@ifc.org

Egidio Germanetti & Riham Mustafa

Phone: + 20 2 4619150 Ext. 314/316

Emails:
egermanetti@ifc.org / rmustafa@ifc.org


Algeria, 02 November 2006— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed a technical assistance agreement recently with Algeria’s government, represented by the Minister of Investment, to simplify the country’s business procedures. The project will be managed by IFC’s regional facility, the Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa.  

IFC will help Algeria’s government simplify business procedures to reduce bureaucratic obstacles at the national as well as the regional level. The objective is to decrease the cost and time of business procedures, promoting flows of foreign and domestic investment. The World Bank Group funded project will focus on a pilot center in Blida, with the longer-term goal of rolling out new procedures to centers across the country. IFC’s facility, PEP-MENA, will collaborate closely with a wide range of Algerian government ministries and the National Agency for Investment Promotion.
 
Abdelkader Allaoua, Associate Director at IFC, commented, “This project is the result of a fruitful dialogue between the Algerian government and the World Bank Group, which started in December 2005 in an effort to improve Algeria’s ranking in the Doing Business report. During the last few months, we have worked closely with the Ministry of Investment and the task force constituted by representatives of the different ministerial departments, to identify tangible measures that will improve Algeria’s investment climate. This collaboration first evolved in a technical assistance package by the World Bank Group, which allowed to identify the necessary regulatory and legal measures to improve Algeria’s ranking. Today, this collaboration concretely resulted in IFC’s technical assistance project to simplify investment procedures through the National Agency for Investment Promotion. These projects represent the government’s commitment to engage in important reforms and attract new investments to the country.”


Hamoud Benhamdine, the general director of investments and external economic relations at the Ministry of Investment, commented “the Ministry continues to be committed to the improvement of Algeria’s investment climate and the country’s image as an attractive location for foreign investment. The investment reforms already introduced are certainly important, but not sufficient to increase investments to the levels of Algeria’s potential.”


Algeria has been experiencing relatively strong economic growth, with GDP rising an average of 6.3 percent between 2001 and 2005. Over the last five years, the government has engaged in important reforms that have reinforced the growth potential of the country’s private sector. But the World Bank Group’s 2007 Doing Business report, which compares the ease of doing business in 177 countries, ranks Algeria 116th overall and 120th in terms of business start-ups. Despite the country’s important energy resources and the government’s reform efforts towards an open economy, Algeria’s private sector is still characterized mainly by small enterprises, whose contribution to the country’s growth is insufficient. In addition, improving Algeria’s investment climate is necessary for Algeria to realize its growth potential beyond the hydrocarbon sector.


The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business enabling and regulatory environment; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.