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Algerian Ambassador to the US Visits NH

By Zenagui Brahim, Director of Operations, NH MEP

New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NH MEP), the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center ( ITRC), and Southern NH University organized a visit of the new Algerian Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Ambassador Abdallah Baali, to the state of New Hampshire on March 23, 2009.

The visit started with a meeting with the NH Dept. of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald and a meeting with Senate President Sylvia Larsen.

During lunch, The Algerian Ambassador gave a talk on "US-Algerian Economic relations – Business Opportunities for US Businesses" at Southern NH University. Twenty four representatives from NH businesses, SNHU, and NH ITRC attended the meeting.

The Ambassador elaborated on the strong financial stability and the natural and human resources Algeria enjoys and spelled out the major economic development projects the country has launched in the last few months. Among the promising sectors for US companies are:

  • Civil engineering, infrastructure, and construction
  • Telecommunications and information technology
  • Healthcare construction, services, and equipment
  • Power generation
  • Water resource equipment
  • Consumer goods
  • Agricultural tools and products
  • Oil and gas

The Ambassador concluded his presentation in making the point that Algeria offers a viable market for US businesses because of its:

  • Political stability
  • Total security nationwide
  • Investment with over $140 billion in the new Economic Dev. Plan and Industrial Strategy
  • Growing economic relationship with the US.

At the beginning of the presentation, it was very clear that many of the attendees did not know much about Algeria and what business opportunities it may offer to US businesses. Most of the questions from the audience revolved around ways to connect with the right partners in Algeria. The Ambassador mentioned that a delegation of 25 US companies just came back from a business trip to Algeria and the US Dept. of Commerce has organized a large trade mission to visit Algeria in the next few days.  During the Q&A, it was apparent that many of the attendees realized that growth opportunities exist somewhere and there is one way to learn about them – think outside the box and explore other markets in the world that may be avenues for growth.

At the end of the presentation I asked the audience how many of them may be thinking of visiting Algeria and exploring its market. Five business representatives raised their hands.

I was surprised to see that a number of the participants thought of exploring this market after an hour and a half presentation on a country many of them did not know much about or probably a country they have never thought could offer an opportunity for business and growth.


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