Deepening economic integration: China-Algeria State Visit unveils growth prospects
Editor's Note: The author is Saud Faisal Malik, CEO of Daily CPEC. The article only reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily of Gwadar Pro.
The much-anticipated state visit to China by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, which is taking place from July 17 to July 21, is an important turning point in the two countries' developing and beneficial relationship. Their lasting partnership has been based on respect, equity, and solidarity ever since China recognized Algeria's interim government in 1958. The purpose of President Tebboune's visit is to expand the overall strategic relationship between China and Algeria by fostering more collaboration and deepening political mutual confidence. This trip offers a priceless chance to further global growth, regional stability, and the common interests of the two countries.
Early recognition of Algeria's interim government by China was vital in fortifying their bilateral ties and laying the groundwork for their long friendship. Algeria reciprocated by significantly helping China reclaim its rightful place at the UN. This common history of collaboration and support has established a solid foundation for China and Algeria's growing partnership. These ties are further cemented by President Tebboune's trip to China, which also emphasizes both countries' commitment to advancing their alliance. Their mutual interaction has progressed well in several areas, such as commerce, investing, and joint economic and development projects.
China has emerged as Algeria's top trading partner during the past ten years, and economic ties have been rapidly strengthening. China imports rubber-based products from Algeria, including vehicle tires and footwear, as well as communications equipment, whereas Algeria sends crude, refined, and petroleum gas to China. To guarantee that the trade cooperation is advantageous to both parties, efforts are being undertaken to restructure and rebalance it.
According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, in 2022, the bilateral trade volume between China and Algeria has reached USD 7.42 billion. China's export value was USD 6.28 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 1.1 percent; the import value was USD 1.14 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.8 percent. At the same time, Algeria is one of China's largest contracted engineering markets overseas.
Additionally, the Belt and Road Initiative's practical collaboration has led to an increase in Chinese investment in Algeria. The development of Algeria's economy is facilitated by the active participation of Chinese businesses and corporations in a variety of development initiatives.
Currently, more than 1,000 Chinese companies are involved in projects in various fields in Algeria. Since 2013, PowerChina has undertaken two batches of 18 photovoltaic power stations in Algeria, with a total installed capacity of 233 MW and 50 MW, respectively. At present, all of them have been connected to the grid for power generation, providing more than 500 million kwh electricity every year, reducing 136 million kilograms of carbon emissions and meeting the daily electricity needs of about 47,000 households. The tallest building constructed by China State Construction Engineering Group in Algeria, the Great Mosque, has twice been listed on the current currency as a landmark. In addition to traditional fields, China- Algeria cooperation has also extended to outer space. In December 2017, China successfully launched the Algeria-1 communication satellite into space with the Long March 3B carrier rocket and put it into the predetermined orbit, which is the first project of cooperation between China and Algeria in the space field. Thanks to this, Algeria's radio, television and emergency communication have been significantly improved.
Moreover, China and Algeria signed another five-year strategic agreement in November 2022, hoping to better leverage the bilateral strategic partnership and enhance practical cooperation in the economic, agricultural, energy, technological, space, and cultural fields. It is also meant to foster collaboration between development initiatives. These joint initiatives serve as an example of China and Algeria's commitment to developing a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership.
Algeria became the first Arab country to form a comprehensive strategic cooperation with China in 2014. This crucial step has catapulted their relationship to new heights, allowing them to strengthen their mutual trust and accomplish beneficial cooperation outcomes. The Belt and Road Initiative's collaborative construction has served as a spur for increased collaboration, yielding significant results in a variety of sectors, including infrastructure development, trade, and cultural exchanges. President Tebboune's visit will provide an opportunity to evaluate and build on the accomplishments of this comprehensive strategic cooperation.
This visit presents an opportunity to strengthen mutual trust, expand cooperation, and enhance the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Algeria. While it is understandable that some may express concerns regarding the potential for an unequal relationship, it is important to emphasize that both China and Algeria are firmly committed to fostering a partnership that is mutually advantageous. By capitalizing on this opportunity for open dialogue and cooperative efforts, China and Algeria can make significant contributions to regional stability, international development, and the promotion of solidarity among developing nations.