British construction companies are meeting the Algerian government in a bid to get involved in infrastructure projects planned as part of a $50bn (£26bn) economic recovery programme
British firms will visit the country next month as part of a trade mission organised by the British Consultants and Construction Bureau, UK Trade & Investment and the Algerian government. They will meet the Algerian Ministry of Public Works, which wants British firms to bid for housing, airport and transport projects.
The country is rebuilding after a civil war that began in 1992, in which 150,000 people died.
Firms already signed up to visit Algeria are understood to include at least one major contractor, specialists and fit-out companies. Legal representatives will also attend.
Ric Nye, international director at the BCCB, said the Algerian government wanted to break the French grip on its civil engineering and construction markets, and was keen to open its markets to British firms. He said: “Algeria is a very rich market at the moment, and it wants to rebuild as it is moving out of a period of internal conflict.
“Surprisingly, the country has been hard to sell to British companies. There is a perception that France has a stranglehold on projects, but the Algerian government wants to move away from that situation.”
Algeria wants to remove the perception that France has a stranglehold
Ric Nye, international director, BCCB
Nye said that the $50bn recovery plan included a $7bn (£3.7bn) housing programme, 28,000 km of national roads, and a further 3700 smaller construction projects, including bridges and airports.
High-profile schemes include a 620 km motorway linking the east and west of the country, and a trans-Saharan highway.
As part of the mission, British companies will take part in a seminar to promote their expertise in project development to the Algerian Ministry of Public Works. They will also have the chance to be briefed on specific details of the schemes.