Algeria-China: Industrial cooperation touched on

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ALGIERS – The Minister of Industry, Ahmed Zeghdar received, on Thursday in Algiers, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Algeria, Mr. Li Jian, with whom he discussed the ways and means of strengthening cooperation and industrial partnership between the two friendly countries, said a press release from the ministry.

During this meeting, which took place at the ministry’s headquarters, “discussions between the two parties focused on ways to further enhance cooperation and industrial partnership between Algeria and China,” the statement added.

Highlighting the importance of cooperation linking the two countries, Mr. Zeghdar called for “strengthening the partnership within the framework of the win-win approach, particularly in the fields of industry and technology transfer”.

The Minister gave his host an overview of the new investment law and the advantages and guarantees it offers to local and foreign investors, in addition to Algeria’s assets which make it a portal for Arab, African and European markets.

He also called for intensifying contacts and meetings between the two parties to define possible partnership opportunities.

“The Chinese ambassador, for his part, expressed his country’s willingness to further strengthen cooperation and industrial partnership with Algeria in several areas,” concluded the same source.

Algeria and China have traditionally strong relations, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2018. The bilateral cooperation between both countries in various fields has stood the test of time and has shown a strong momentum for further growth.

China and Algeria have all along offered mutual sympathy, enjoyed mutual understanding and supported each other.

In the 1950s, China, to the best of its ability, provided political, economic and military support for Algeria’s liberation struggle against colonial rule, when China itself was experiencing a difficult time for its development.

Shortly after the Algerian interim government was formed in September 1958, China immediately recognized it, becoming the first non-Arab country to grant diplomatic recognition to the government. Later on, China and the North African country established full diplomatic ties on Dec. 20 that year.

Soon after Algeria declared independence, China dispatched a medical team to Algeria in April 1963. The medical team was also the first one China had sent to an African country. Since then, China has sent a total of 21 batches of medical staff to Algeria, numbering more than 2,800 Chinese medical personnel.

The local people were impressed by the professional dedication on the part of the Chinese doctors who have made their due contributions to Algeria’s healthcare development.

In May 2003, a strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit northern Algeria, causing heavy casualties and property losses. China, shortly after the disaster, dispatched a rescue team to Algeria, the first one China had ever sent overseas.

Algeria, in the early 1970s, played an important role in the efforts to restore China’s legitimate seat in the United Nations, as a major co-sponsor country for the draft resolution calling for the restoration of all China’s legitimate rights in the world body.

For a long period of time, there have been frequent exchanges of visits between the two countries’ top leaders, who have maintained close contact with each other.

At the invitation of his Algerian counterpart, the late Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to Algeria in February 2004, during which the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral ties and regional and international issues of common concern, signed several accords on boosting bilateral cooperation and announced the establishment of the China-Algeria strategic cooperation.

In November 2006, the late Bouteflika paid a state visit to China and attended the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The two presidents signed a communique on promoting the strategic cooperative ties.

The good political ties between the two countries have given a strong impetus to bilateral exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade and other fields.

According to the statistics provided by China’s Commerce Ministry, bilateral trade reached 3.828 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, up 83 percent from 2006. China’s exports to Algeria rose to 2.688 billion dollars, while its imports from that country hit 1.140 billion dollars.

During 2020, China had a large net trade with Algeria in the exports of Machines ($1.83B), Textiles ($924M), and Metals ($814M). During 2020, Algeria had a large net trade with China in the exports of Mineral Products ($869M), Textiles ($13.5M), and Metals ($3.57M).

There are several large Chinese enterprises which are currently expanding business in Algeria, ranging from road and housing construction, telecommunications and energy, to water resources and transportation.

In 2014, the Sino-Algerian bilateral relationship was elevated to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” the first of its kind in the Sino-Arab world. Chinese top political advisor, Yu Zhengsheng, stated the goals of this partnership were to “enhance exchanges at all levels, cement political mutual trust and promote pragmatic cooperation” between the two nations. In 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping echoed similar rhetoric, pledging to help promote further development of the partnership and continue the trend towards closer diplomatic ties.

The Sheraton Hotel, built by a Chinese company, is now a major landmark in the capital city, while the expressway under construction that will link Algeria’s east and west will also become a key strategic artery for the North African countries and the littoral states of the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2019, and after seven years of construction and over $1 billion in expenses, China finalized the Great Mosque of Algiers. The Great Mosque of Algiers, or Djamaa El Djazair, sits on an area of 400,000 square meters and has a 265 meter (870 feet) minaret that houses observation decks. The compound’s domed sanctuary and outside courtyard overlooking the Bay of Algiers can house up to 120,000 worshippers and has an underground parking space with a capacity of 7,000 cars.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Algeria sent urgent medical aid to Beijing in February 2020. In March 2020, China started to deliver tons of medical equipment to Algeria including respirators, medical protective clothes and screening kits.

In September 2021, Algeria started the production of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in cooperation with China.

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