Last updated in April 2016
Political relations between Algeria and Germany are good. Even in the 1990s, when Algeria was afflicted by a wave of Islamist terrorist attacks, Germany maintained diplomatic contacts with the country. In 2001, President Bouteflika became the first Algerian president to pay an official visit to Germany. He visited Berlin again in December 2010. The visit by Federal President Köhler in November 2007 was the first official visit to Algeria by a German President. Federal Chancellor Merkel visited Algeria in July 2008. Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier visited Algeria most recently in January 2015. In January 2016, Algerian Prime Minister Sellal held talks in Berlin with Federal Chancellor Merkel, Federal President Gauck and German Bundestag President Lammert. Federal Interior Minister de Maizière and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Müller travelled to Algeria in early 2016.
Algeria’s economy is largely state-controlled and dominated by the energy sector. Ninety-eight per cent of the country’s export revenue comes from the hydrocarbon sector, which accounts for 27 per cent of gross domestic product. The fall in the price of oil is expected to result in a lasting current account deficit. Official figures put unemployment at 12 per cent and youth unemployment at nearly 30 per cent. The Algerian government is seeking to diversify the country’s economy.
The principal suppliers of Algerian imports are China, France, Italy and Spain, with Germany in fifth place.
Germany’s main exports to Algeria are machinery, motor vehicles and vehicle parts and chemical products. Its principal imports from Algeria are oil, chemical products and other raw materials. There are more than 200 German companies with a total workforce of over 2,000 operating in Algeria. The German-Algerian Chamber of Industry and Commerce has some 800 members.
Besides the German-Algerian Joint Economic Commission that Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Bouteflika agreed to set up in 2011, the Energy Partnership established between the two countries in 2015 constitutes another forum for bilateral economic contacts. A first German-Algerian Agricultural Forum was held in November 2015.
An investment protection agreement has been in place between the two countries since 2002. A double taxation agreement has been in force since 2008 and there are also bilateral shipping and air transport accords.
Culture and Education
The Goethe Institute in Algiers was established in 1963. It was closed from 1994 to 2001 but has been operating again since then. Its activities focus on language work. Since September 2015, the Goethe Institute’s language courses have been held on new premises. Language examinations are conducted by a cooperation partner (a private language school). The Goethe Institute plans to expand its staff to meet the demand for language courses.
Open question regarding the status of German political foundations, the Goethe Institute and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are to be settled during the ongoing negotiations on a cultural agreement. A memorandum of understanding on academic cooperation between the DAAD and Algeria’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research was signed in March 2016.
In September 2014, an agreement was reached with Algeria on the admission of three Algerian schools to the global network of partner schools created by the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH). Students from these schools were invited to attend a youth exchange course in Germany for the first time in summer 2015. In addition, German Language Rooms were set up at the PASCH schools and equipped with media resources.
Since 2012, there has been cooperation between Algeria’s National Museum at Cherchell and the German Archaeological Institute on the restoration of archaeological artefacts and the specialised training of staff.