Investment law in Algeria: Place for implementation of texts

The new law on investments, adopted on June 27 at the National People’s Assembly (NPA), and then on July 12 at the Council of the Nation, needs implementing texts for its implementation. Industry Minister Ahmed Zegdar assured that the adoption of this law will be accompanied by the publication of eight related legislative acts.

The minister confirmed that after the publication of these application texts, Algeria will become “a desirable destination for all investors.” He will raise before the senators the issue of returning the dynamics of investment in Algeria after the period of hiatus since 2018. Ahmed Zegdar also emphasized the importance of this law, which aims to support and facilitate this dynamic. However, according to the Minister of Industry, this remains insufficient to stimulate investment in Algeria. In fact, he insisted on the need to accompany this law with reforms in all related areas, including banks and real estate.

For its part, the Committee of the Council of the Nation on Economy and Finance emphasized the importance of solving the issue of land, in particular for agricultural purposes, to facilitate the process of providing it for the implementation of investment projects. The commission also called for the need to intensify the role of the mass media and economic diplomacy to promote Algeria, on the one hand, and to find foreign markets to promote national production and marketing abroad, somewhere else. In the same context, the commission recommends speeding up the promulgation and promulgation of regulations specifying the terms of implementation of this important law in order to bring it into force as soon as possible.

Economic operators do not share the government’s enthusiasm

It must be said that in order to apply this law, several sectors need to be reformed. These include the law on customs, taxes, local taxation, currency and credit. It is also necessary to ease the conditions, procedures and rules regarding the transfer of invested amounts and received income for non-resident investors.

In addition, it should be noted that some business entities do not share the government’s enthusiasm. This concerns the Center for Corporate Reflection (CARE), which has made several observations. This center emphasized that this new code does not in any way simplify procedures for investors, explaining that “the law should immediately offer a stable basis for investment with clear and fluid procedures. But in practice, it refers most of the important decisions to the implementing texts, which makes the text of the law opaque, inoperative and unstable, because, even if the law does not change, the implementing texts can change the basic terms and conditions.’

CARE also noted that this new law does not provide guarantees for entrepreneurs. “The law should stimulate investments, and therefore reduce investment risks. However, in the latest version of the bill, its Article 27 puts investors in a risky situation if they cannot complete their investment on time. As everyone knows that non-compliance with deadlines usually does not depend on the good will of the promoter, falling under this law increases the risks for the company instead of reducing them,” explained the investment law after the announcement.