Home » China, Algeria to Deepen BRI Cooperation Amid Tebboune’s Visit
Africa Algeria Asia China North Africa Politics

China, Algeria to Deepen BRI Cooperation Amid Tebboune’s Visit

Scope, depth of investment expands from infrastructure, energy to emerging areas

China and Algeria are set to strengthen cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with the scope and depth of investment expanding from traditional sectors such as basic infrastructure and energy to emerging areas like aerospace, telecommunications and new energy, representatives from Chinese companies said amid Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s ongoing five-day state visit to China.

While made-in-China products and projects have been making remarkable contributions to the livelihoods of Algerians in recent years, observers said that deepened cooperation under the BRI framework will constitute a further boost to the North African country, accelerating its efforts to diversify away from heavy reliance on energy exports. 

As Algeria is a major country on the African side of the Mediterranean as well as an Arab nation, stronger China-Algeria ties will have a demonstration effect in both Africa and the Arab world, showcasing the rich manifestation and pragmatic results of South-South cooperation, observers said. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a meeting with Tebboune on Tuesday that the two sides need to work together on the implementation of important documents on the BRI and other cooperation, deepen cooperation in such traditional areas as infrastructure, petrochemicals, mining and agriculture, and expand cooperation in high-tech fields including aerospace, nuclear energy, ICT and renewable energy to nurture new growth drivers of cooperation.

Xi said that China will continue to provide assistance to Algeria as its ability permits to support economic and social development in Algeria. China will import more quality products from Algeria and encourage and support Chinese businesses to explore cooperation in Algeria. 

Observers said that the meeting has created a blueprint for how the two countries – being influential developing countries – should press ahead with cooperation under the BRI, as this year marks both the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of the BRI.

In December 2022, China and Algeria signed an executive plan for the joint implementation of the BRI. The North African country joined the initiative in 2018.

In recent years, China has been involved in many landmark projects in Algeria under the facilitation of the initiative, including building railways, ports and mosques. Algeria has been one of the largest overseas project contracting markets for Chinese companies for years, and China is also now the largest builder of infrastructure in Algeria. 

State-owned Power Construction Corp of China (PowerChina) said in a statement it sent to the Global Times on Wednesday that it helped build a unit of a photovoltaic (PV) power station in the Algerian South region, in the Sahara Desert hinterland.

The unit, with an installed capacity of 233 megawatts, is the country’s largest PV project. It is also the first large-scale on-grid PV station in Africa.

“It’s a foundational engineering project for Algeria to achieve its new-energy strategy,” a spokesperson of PowerChina was quoted as saying in the statement. The project embodies a high-quality development path, a direction that BRI cooperation is heading toward at the 10th anniversary of the initiative.   

In addition to PowerChina and China State Construction, over 1,000 Chinese companies have invested in Algeria in a wide range of sectors such as infrastructure, trade, energy and agriculture, the Beijing Daily reported on Tuesday. 

“Chinese companies have been very important drivers for the development of Algeria, and their roles are set to be more critical amid Algeria’s economic diversification push,” Song Wei, a professor at the school of international relations and diplomacy at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Song noted that prosperous cooperation between China and Algeria under the BRI could set an example for South-South cooperation. 

In November 2022, Algeria announced that it had officially submitted an application to join the BRICS, a grouping designed to facilitate South-South cooperation.

Observers believe that Algeria’s application would be on the agenda of discussion during Tebboune’s visit to China.

Source : Global Times