Iran wants to help Algeria lift its economy out of its increased dependence on hydrocarbons by transferring its experience in the matter, said on December 2, the day of the arrival of Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Algeria, the ambassador Iranian to Algiers.
On December 2, the day of the arrival of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saoud in Algeria on an official visit, which the Algerian government has decided to circumscribe in a framework of economic cooperation, Reza Amiri, the Iran’s ambassador in Algiers, announced in an interview with the news site Tout sur l’Algerie (TSA) that his country is ready to help this North African state to solve the thorniest problem of its economy, namely its non- hydrocarbon diversification. Since Algeria’s independence in 1962, the country’s economy continues to be 98% dependent on oil and gas exports.
“In Algeria, we are seeing a positive momentum in the sense that political decisions are being made to diversify exports and reduce the rate of dependence on hydrocarbons,” said the diplomat. “Iran is willing to transfer to Algeria its important experience in this area of diversification of the economy and the reduction of dependence on hydrocarbons,” he said.
While recalling that his country had achieved the feat of transforming its economy that was dependent on hydrocarbons to 95% in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, in an economy where oil and gas currently provide only 30% of the revenues of the Iran, the ambassador stressed that “we have endured many crises and problems to achieve this result”. “We had to rely on the development of industry, agriculture, petrochemicals and the limitation of imports that were not needed”.
Identifying the potential for intense economic cooperation between the two states, the Iranian official stressed that “Algeria has an important geographical and strategic location in North Africa”. “This is the gateway to the African continent and its proximity to Europe and other countries are increasing its commercial and economic importance,” he said.
In this context, citing as an example a possible industrial partnership between Algeria and Iran, Mr. Amiri revealed that “many large Iranian companies with large production capacity have announced their willingness to invest in the country”. “Algeria needs a lot of raw materials currently produced in Iran, as well as technical and engineering services that are also eligible for export to the Algerian market,” he added, adding that “The Iranian side is, for its part, identifying goods produced locally in Algeria to import them into Iran”.
In conclusion, while recalling that Algeria and Iran had historic fraternal political relations, Reza Amiri stressed that “there is a strong will among the leaders of the two countries to tighten and further strengthen bilateral relations in all the domains”.
As a reminder, three days before the arrival of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saoud in Algeria on an official visit, Iran dispatched on Wednesday, November 28, Abbas Araghchi, the Iranian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Algiers to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to further develop them, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said, saying the talks were routine between the two states. However, not being announced by the Algeria Press Service (APS), the visit of the Iranian diplomat has raised questions about its stake.
Given that the visit of Mr. Araghchi was not commented by the Algerian authorities, contacted by the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, a source close to the Algerian government said that the visit took place “on demand” the Iranian government considers Algeria a strategic ally. “