Russian-Algerian Business Council established

On March 8-9, 2006, just before the visit to Algeria by Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin, a delegation of Russian businessmen led by RUSSNEFT President, M.Gutsiriyev, visited the Algerian Republic. Among the delegates were: the RABC director and Adviser to Russian Federation CCI President, T.Gvilava, General Director of ZARUBEZHVODOSTROI, Ye.Gudzenchuk, Deputy Director of TMK, V. Oborsky, General Director of Russkaya Sodovaya Kompaniya, V.Zakoptelov, its First Vice-President, S.Naryin, as well as other representatives of the Russian business community.

On March 8, the seat of the CCI for the Algerian People’s Democratic Republic saw the First Constituent session of the Russian-Algerian Business Council, chaired by RUSSNEFT President, M.Gutsiriyev, on the Russian side, and President of IMC , retired general, K.Abdel Rahim, on the Algerian side. The session was attended by General Director of the Algerian CCI, M. Shami, and the RABC Director, T. Gvilava.

M.Shami informed all those present about the results of the first session of the Council’s Algerian part , held the other day. He noted the importance of deepening business collaboration between both countries at the current stage of the development of Russian-Algerian relations , and pointed out that the level of the existing commercial and economic contacts does not correspond with the potential of bilateral cooperation and the strategical nature of their political interaction. M. Shami emphasized that the membership in the RABC is formed by business elites in the two countries. He formulated the removal of the problems which still are in the bilateral agenda as one of the priorities of the newly created Council, and said the Council must “ give a push - ahead to the wheel of cooperation”. He also gave a high appraisal to the part played by Algeria in the inter Arab commercial and economic dialogue, and noted that his country will play a key part in the activities of the whole RABC, as a member of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab countries.

In her address, Tatyana Gvilava expressed her gratitude to the Algerian side and to the CCI, in particular, for their active involvement in RABC activities. She transmitted to the session participants greetings by Russian Federation CCI President, Ye. Primakov, and informed those present about the results of the first session of the Council’s Russian part, held and chaired by him in Moscow on January 20 , 2006. The RABC Director also informed the Algerian side about the main directions in the RABC activities since its formation, and she stated that favorable environment has been created for building up commercial & economic and investment interaction between the two countries, which will , to no small extent , be facilitated by RABC mediation.

The Council’s Co-chairman , K. Abdel Rahim, welcomed the RABC guests, noting that the two sides have accumulated enormous potential for interaction and he called for concrete steps to be taken in bilateral business projects.

The chairman of the Council’s Russian part, M.Gutsiriyev, informed the participants about the situation in Russia’s economy and described the evolution of the economic environment for the past 15 years . He noted that Russia has been successfully operating in a free-market situation and is currently promoting mutually advantageous cooperation with numerous countries. The Co-chairman spoke for “ more frequent meetings ” as instrumental in boosting interaction.

The session then saw mutual presentations of members of the Council’s Russian and Algerian parts, followed by bilateral meetings and talks between businessmen.

Under discussion were issues of bilateral interest, specifically, prospects for continued sale of Russian wheat to Algeria, the purchase of metal pipes, the construction of a series of industrial projects, including an ammoniac producing plant.

Besides, Algerian businessmen showed an interest in Russian technologies designed for enhancing the efficiency of oil & gas wells . The session participants believe that the growing interest in mutual collaboration gives hopes for a fast increase in both bilateral trade and Russian investments in Algeria.

The session resulted in the parties’ agreement to hold the Council’s next session in Algeria within two months’ time.

By that period, the coordination of the Council’s Statute will have been completed, any issues concerning the formation of a business-interests section agreed upon, and the number of companies to participate in the next session increased.

On March 9, the ceremony of signature of an Agreement to establish a Russian-Algerian Business Council was held. The Agreement was signed by Chairman of the RABC Russian part, M.Gutsiriyev, and RABC Director, Advisor to the Russian Federation CCI President, T. Gvilava, on the Russian side, and Chairman of the Council’s Algerian part, K. Abdel Rahim, and General Director of the Algerian CCI, M.Shami, on the Algerian side.

The signature ceremony was followed up by a press conference to sum up its results.