Last updated in November 2014
Political relations between Algeria and Germany have traditionally been good and amicable. Even in the 1990s, when Algeria was afflicted by a wave of Islamist terrorist attacks, Germany maintained a diplomatic presence in the country. In early April 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 and German Bundestag President Lammert and Federal Economics and Technology Minister Rösler were in Algiers in February 2013. Algerian Foreign Minister Medelci was in Berlin for talks in mid-March 2013 and Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle visited Algiers in May 2013. The most recent high-level contacts were the political consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries, which were held at state secretary level in September 2014 in Berlin.
Oil is Germany’s chief import from Algeria, the other main imports being chemical products and other raw materials. The balance of trade between the two countries is virtually in equilibrium. In 2013, German imports from Algeria were worth EUR 2 billion. German exports to Algeria totalled EUR 2.1 billion in 2013. Germany’s principal exports to Algeria are motor vehicles and vehicle parts, machinery and chemical products (information from Germany Trade & Invest).
Algeria is becoming increasingly important for Europe as a supplier of energy. Extensive government investment programmes, especially in infrastructure, industry and agriculture as well as housing and health care, are making Algeria an interesting investment destination for German companies. There are currently more than 200 German companies with a total workforce of over 2,000 operating in Algeria. The German-Algerian Chamber of Industry and Commerce was officially opened on 1 June 2006 as part of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s German Chamber Network. It currently has some 815 members.
Based on the agreement reached by Federal Chancellor Merkel and Algerian President Bouteflika, the German-Algerian Joint Economic Commission met for the first time in spring 2011 in Berlin. It was presided over by Algeria’s Minister of Industry and, for the German side, the responsible State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The commission’s fourth meeting was held in Algiers on 12 and 13 March 2014 and was attended by numerous representatives of German companies.
Investment protection, shipping, air transport and double taxation agreements are in place between the two countries.
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. A German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) lecturer has been teaching at the University of Oran since the 2008/2009 winter semester and another DAAD lectureship was established at the University of Algiers in August 2013, though the position is vacant at present (2014/2015). 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). The schools receive support from the Goethe Institute in Algiers.