APS : Sunday, 04 November 2018
ALGIERS- The economic relations between Algeria and Italy are experiencing an increased momentum with an important trading volume, which requires increasing diversified partnerships in productive activities.
The visit of Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to Algiers, scheduled for Monday, will be the opportunity for both countries to examine ways to extend their economic cooperation.
The Algerian-Italian economic relations are still marked by the dominance of the energy sector, thanks to which Italy is among the main clients of Algeria for years.
Algeria’s exports to Italy, made up mainly of hydrocarbons, reached USD5.55 billion in 2017, up by 6.4% compared with 2016.
During the first nine months of 2018, Italy was still ranked Algeria’s first client with USD4.43 billion of Algerian exports, up by 3.8% compared with 2017.
Italy is considered as one of the main destinations of Algerian natural gas thanks to the Trans-Mediterranean pipeline, also called Enrico Mattei gas pipeline, the fruit of a partnership concluded in 1977 between the national hydrocarbon group Sonatrach and Italian energy company ENI.
The two groups are currently negotiating to renew export agreements that will expire in 2019.
Sonatrach and ENI are continuing their efforts to reach new energy cooperation opportunities.
In this regard, the two sides signed on Monday in Algiers an agreement on the exploration and assessment of oil potential of the Algerian offshore basin over a surface area of nearly 15,000 km2.
With the dominance of the energy sector over the economic relations with Italy, Algeria focuses on possibilities to diversify its cooperation with this European partner by reviving the national productive capacity.
In this regard, Italy is called to take advantage of the attractive position of its products in the Algerian market to increase its non-hydrocarbon investments in Algeria which hopes to reduce its import bill by favoring the local production.