Trade and Investment

Algerian businesses have been urged to take more interest in standardisation and certification issues. Boualem Attou, head of the Algerian Institute of Standardisation (IANOR), deplored the fact that the “Algerian standardisation system is functioning at an insufficient rate” and explained that this is mainly due to the low interest of Algerian companies in standardisation. Speaking at the Algiers Industries 2010 trade fair in September, he invited all those involved in the standardisation process, producers, consumer associations and representatives of public authorities, to get organized into technical committees in order to increase the awareness among Algerian companies.

A Complementary Finance Law, enacted in July 2009, included tax measures specifically designed to reduce the tax burden borne by businesses in favour of job creation, financial measures intended to support small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), and tax incentives aimed at promoting national production. In a speech supporting the adoption of the law, President of the Popular National Assembly (APN), Abdelaziz Ziari explained that the tax incentives were drawn up in order to boost employment, to promote investment in SMEs in general, and in agriculture and tourism in particular, and to protect Algeria’s interests, while also encouraging foreign investment.

As regards investment, the law stipulated that: “all foreign investment can only be realised in a 49/51 partnership with Algerian investors. The 51% majority Algerian share can be represented by several Algerian partners or entities.” The law was later revised in the Finance Act 2010. The additional Finance Act 2010 aims at consolidating the actions taken in the fight against different forms of economic crimes, and to support investment, enterprises, agricultural field, human and cultural development, as well as to preserve the interests of the national economy.

Under new rules announced in mid-July 2010 relating to state tenders, local companies will be given preferential consideration so long as their bids are under 25% more than those lodged by overseas firms. Under the previous rules, the ceiling was set at 15%.

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